In the last 15 years I’ve written and published 3 books with publishers, published 5 books myself, plus edited one conference proceedings and pushed out three “mini books” (one with 3 editions) which I never publicised.
In addition I’ve contributed forwards and chapters to at least six books and had two books translated.
Then there are countless magazine and journal articles but they stretch back further, closer to 25 years – and this blog from 2005.
Not bad for a kid who was thrown out of school after asking a teacher how to spell “at” – age of eight, a diagnosed dyslexic who had to learn to read three times – I can’t read my own handwriting its so bad.
As a result I’ve learned a lot about writing and publishing. In the last few years I’ve spoken to many people who want to know how to write and publish their own book. A couple of years ago Steve Smith suggested I write a book about writing books. I’ve been avoiding that until this month.
Now I’ve started: How I write books, https://leanpub.com/howIwrite – sign-up to be the first to known when the MVP is published. And if there is anything you would like me to write about in the book please let me know.
I have a few more loose ends to tidy up before switching to the static version of the blog. One of the important tasks was to make sure I had a spell checker available. Back in the dim and distant past I had set up flyspell-mode with hunspell, but I wanted to check if there […]
I have not found an automated way to generate a nice PDF from some slides written in HTML – if you know of one please add a comment!
In the meantime, if you create slides using my HTML Slides template, then you can make a decent-ish-looking PDF like this:
View your slides in Firefox and open the Print dialog (press Ctrl-p).
Select Print to File and choose a filename to save to.
Under Options deselect “Ignore Scaling…” and select “–blank–” for all the headers and footers. Ensure “Print Background Colours” and “Print Background Images” are selected.
Under Page Setup set Scale to 70.0 and Orientation to Landscape.
Select the dropdown next to Paper size and choose Manage Custom Sizes…
Create a new custom size called “Screen 16:9” with Width 157.5 mm and Height 280.0 mm. Set all the Paper Margins to 5.0 mm. You can modify the name of the custom size by clicking on it in the list on the left. Click Close.
Back in Page Setup, make sure your new custom size is selected next to Paper Size.
If that does not work well for you, try experimenting with different Scale settings.
My latest Becoming a Better Programmer column is published in the March issue of C Vu magazine (27.1). It's called Coders Causing Conflict and investigates how "conflict" can be a driving force for good in software development. It's quite an interesting topic, and one worth thinking about.
I realise that I failed to announce my previous few C Vu columns here. So, as a recap:
In January (C Vu 26.6) I published Advice for the Young at Heart, considering how to give career advice to new programmers.
In November 2014 (C Vu 26.5) I published Playing by the Rules which looks at developing "tribal rules" for your development team to help it work most effectively.
C Vu is a magazine produced by the ACCU - an excellent organisation for programmers. It has a great community, great publications, and an awesome conference. Check it out.
My new book, Becoming a Better Programmer, is fully edited, laid out, and is now available as a final product for your reading pleasure, published by O'Reilly. You can purchase it in printed form or as a digital version for your e-reader of choice.
Find out more about the book from the O'Reilly product page. You can view the full table of contents there. Or head over to Amazon to purchase. If you are a Safari subscriber, you can read it here. Grab your iBook here.
The cover image is a flying fish. I'll leave it to your imagination to work out the significance.
It's great to finally see this labour of love come to fruition, and I do hope that stands as a useful resource for programmers today.
One of my favourite parts of the book is a family in-joke in the "advance praise" at the front. Nestled amongst the luminaries and expert programmers who graciously contributed their honest thoughts on the book is another very honest opinion: