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I said it was my favorite Ruby book, but I was sad that it as out of date.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.

Check out The Ruby Way, 3rd Edition on Amazon, or get a sample chapter of the book from therubyway.io.