09 Apr 2015
The Ruby Way, 3rd Edition
A surprising thing happened to me last year: I wrote a book.
Well, I didn’t quite write a book. I coauthored a book. I revised a book. I updated a book. While the starting point was much farther along than usual, it still felt an awful lot like writing a book.
In the end, though, after a year of writing and rewriting and editing and checking: I wrote a book! I’m as surprised as anyone.
It’s all Sandi Metz’s fault. Years ago, at GoRuCo, I said hi to Sandi during lunch, and she asked if I had met her publisher, Debra Williams-Cauley. We chatted pleasantly for a few minutes, and then Debra asked what I thought of The Ruby Way.
I said it was my favorite Ruby book, but I was sad that it as out of date. At that point, Sandi immediately declared “I deny all responsibility for this”, and walked away. Next, of course, Debra asked if I would be interested in coauthoring the new edition.
It was a great way to satisfy my urge to have written a book without having to (quite) do all of the work required for writing a book. Every page had to be tested against new versions of Ruby, and almost every page had to be updated. About a quarter of the pages in this edition were written by me, out of the one third of the pages that were new for this edition.
Surprisingly, writing a book somehow produced ideas for other books. Given the monumental amount of time that went into revising this book, though, writing any new books from scratch is going to take a really long time.
Ultimately, I guess I have to accept that it’s my fault, since I did have to do the writing. But it wouldn’t have happened without Sandi. So thanks, Sandi. This edition’s for you.