I'm happy to announce that my esteemed business partner and I are writing a mass-market book about how enterprises can adopt Lean Startup techniques to think like and compete with Silicon Valley. We're drawing from our experience and the wisdom of our wide network of contacts at Lean Startup Machine to make the book hard-hitting and relevant to modern managers.
If you have an interesting Lean Startup case study or are trying to implement Lean Startup in your company, I'd love to hear about it. Click here to get free early access to book content, all we ask for in return is your feedback.
Today I unveiled the latest (and eventually best) version of The Rails Way at RailsConf 2013. Thanks to the cooperation of my publisher, this beta release is being distributed via the most excellent leanpub.com service. My co-authors are Kevin Faustino, Vitaly Kushner and Ari Lerner.
Beta purchasers will be invited to collaborate on the book. Much more information coming soon.
I was a bookworm in my younger years. I was one of those kids that stayed awake way past his bedtime, flashlight under the covers, finishing a book even if it meant staying up til 3 or 4am in the morning and being groggy the next day. Key thought: I always finished the books that I started and I didn't usually read more than one book at a time. That' why this quote really resonated with me:
I don’t read like I used to—although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I rarely finish books. I’ve always had a habit of abandoning novels 50-100 pages before the end. I don’t know why, I’ve always done that. I think I’m doing it more and I don’t mind because I think my critical senses have improved and by eradicating book guilt I’ve reached a point where I am happy to cast things aside. I read 5, 10 books at once. I read them on paper and electronically as the mood takes me.
James Bridle - Stop Lying
James says he reads 5 or 10 books at once. Thinking about it, I know that I have at least 10-20 hardcopy books floating about that I've started reading and pick up when the mood strikes. Having a Kindle has just increased the total number of titles that I'm reading at once. These are just some of the books that I've been reading digitally for the last 2 years.
Do you have the same situation? Do you think it's a relatively positive or negative thing?
Wow, did you all make it hard for me to choose winners! Over 60 entrants and almost everyone had a compelling story to share. I think the best thing about it all is seeing proof of the wonderful diversity and vibrance of our community. Everyone who entered is going to get a small token of appreciation from my publisher and I will announce that as soon as I get final confirmation. UPDATE: All contestants will receive complimentary access to the RoughCut of Russ Olsen's upcoming Eloquent Ruby title on Safari.
But without further ado, here are the winners:
Jacob Richardson, a 19 year old developer from Des Moines, Iowa wins the top prize for his story about a successful project he started in high school and how he teaches Rails to high school students.
"About midway through the year Rails was so appealing to me that I decided to completely scratch the whole Skloop PHP product and rewrite it in Rails. This was a HUGE success! I was able to easily implement a group system that piggybacked on Twitter to use it as a delivery system. With our new system it allowed all students in the school to register for our product (via a web frontend) and allowed them to easily join teacher created groups to receive announcements and events.
Skloop is being heavily used in the high school today and is being hosted locally at the school. The product ended up being so useful that the school today, whenever the school is canceled due to weather or other events, will post the school closing on Skloop before ANY phone calls are made to anybody. Skloop was also presented at the Prometheus Awards to recognize outstanding contributions to technology in Iowa.
My contributions to Skloop, although I have graduated, have not ceased. Every week as a volunteer I will come to the club and teach the students about Ruby on Rails and how to improve the current Skloop product. I'm trying to become a better teacher and Rails expert so that I can impact these student's lives as much as I can to help them get their feet in the water. "
Josh Van Cleef was dealing with unemployment issues:
"Unfortunately, I was resoundingly unsuccessful at that and moved quickly down the scale from “self-employed” to “unemployed.” In the two years since then, I’ve applied for all manner of jobs, even crappy theme park jobs, with zero luck. I’ve tried my hand at some freelance sports writing (ok, blogging mainly), which did get me a press pass to a college bowl game, but no actual money.
Meanwhile, a good friend left his corporate job about the same time and started freelance web development in Rails. After about a year & a half of unemployment, it finally dawned on me to bug him about what he’s up to. He put me onto tryruby, and the rest is almost history."
Brandon Cordell has been a little overwhelmed at times:
Being new to Rails now that it's grown so big, is like being in the middle of a cave at night with 10,000 path surrounding you. It seems like everywhere you go in the Rails universe there are 5 different camps of people saying 5 different things, and they all claim they're right. Not that it's entirely a bad thing since it helps drive innovation, but as a newcomer it's easy to just run back to where you came from and vow to learn it later.
The following entrants win a copy of the Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial book.
Even though they won't receive a book hard copy, I'm going to do my best to send the following entrants a special something for their great stories. (Wish I had more books to distribute!)
If you're one of the winners, please keep an eye on your email this week for details on how to receive your prize. Thanks again to everyone who participated.
As the Series Editor of the Professional Ruby Series by Addison-Wesley, I am pleased to announce a contest specially for Rails up-and-comers. The idea is to support folks that are working hard towards entering the Rails job market, which as you might know, is currently suffering from severe talent shortages!
UPDATE: Thanks to a generous donation by Chad Fowler, his essential title: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development will be awarded to the top three winners!
The Fabulous Prize Packs
One (1) grand prize winner will receive the full stack of Pro Ruby Series books (pictured above), worth over $250, plus The Passionate Programmer:
Two (2) first runner-up prize packs will be awarded, consisting of:
Ten (10) second runner-up winners will receive a free copy of the Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial book.
I love hearing personal stories, especially from people that are working hard to succeed. The first and main part of your entry submission to the contest is the story of how you're working to succeed as a "Rails up-and-comer." Tell us who you are, where you come from and what you're about. Tell us why you picked Ruby and Rails over a myriad of other options and why you think you'll succeed. You may enter your story directly as a comment here or link to an entry on your own blog or elsewhere on the web.
The second part of the entry is based on what some people call an "honors system"; it's a promise that you'll write an honest Amazon review for at least one of the books (if you win). This point of this contest is most definitely not about drumming up reviews, but I figure that it is a good opportunity to get some so it'd be dumb to pass it up.
Deadline / Dates
You have until midnight EST on Sunday, January 23rd to enter your submission. I'll announce the winners sometime late on Monday, January 24th.
I'll be the sole judge of this contest and will rank the competitors subjectively at my discretion based on how much I like their story. I don't expect nor want a full biography, but if you're going to enter please do make it compelling reading. Hint: focus on obstacles overcome and aspects of your story that are unique to your personal context.
GOOD LUCK -- I can't wait to read your stories!
The Fine Print
I will announce the winners via an update to this blog post. This is not an official Addison-Wesley contest. The books I'm awarding are from my personal Series Editor stash and I'm paying for shipping the prizes myself, from my own personal funds. You should enter the contest from outside the USA only if you are willing and able to PayPal me the additional cost of shipping books to you if you win. (The cost in excess of 10USD). Obviously I don't know where you are so I have no idea what it will cost beforehand. Please don't email me asking for an estimate of shipping costs. I'll work on getting something of value for all contestants that don't win an official prize, but no promises until I see how many contestants participate.
Back in 2007 as I was finishing the first edition of The Rails Way, I asked you to send me your thoughts on the meaning of the "rails way." I incorporated most of your responses into the book's Afterword, introducing it with the following paragraph:
I love the Ruby community. It’s vibrant, witty, and smart. Truly, our community is one of the best aspects of working with Rails and no small part of its success. As I was nearing completion of this book, I felt a strong urge to include the community in whatever way possible, to give readers a taste of what it’s like, and then it hit me. We all know that there is a Rails way, and yet it is an intensely personal experience, subject to interpretation and joyful exposition. What better way to end the book than with a collection of your thoughts!
Well, it's that time again. The Rails 3 Way is almost finished and I'd like to update the Afterword with new content culled from a much larger and diverse generation of Rails fanatics. Send me your thoughts, poetry, quips... whatever gets the idea across:
What Is the Rails Way (To You)?
Please make sure to get your submission in before July 31 to ensure consideration for the new edition. Thanks!
My series has three exciting titles coming in 2010 that I wanted to share with you, since they're now available in preview form.
The Rough Cuts service from Safari Books Online gives you exclusive access to an evolving manuscript that you can read online or download as a PDF and print. A Rough Cuts book is not fully edited or completely formatted, but you'll get access to new versions as they are created.
Design with Ruby and Rails
This book covers the tools and techniques for building service architectures in Ruby that are designed to scale and operate in the cloud or with legacy enterprise systems.
In Rails AntiPatterns, the authors provide many real world antipatterns examples along with practical advice for how to avoid them in the first place. Each AntiPattern is demonstrated with real world code, and solutions for refactoring are presented that are based on sound Object Oriented principles and established Ruby on Rails best practices.
Both a reference and tutorial, this book shows how to implement the reporting and dimensional modeling concepts using a variety of tools in Ruby.
Merb is definitely the next big thing in the Ruby world. I don't think that it will ever displace Rails as king of modern web frameworks, but Merb's popularity for smaller web projects and simple web services is hard to ignore. By signing Foy Savas to write The Merb Way, I am hoping to continue the Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series tradition of giving readers the best possible information from experienced practitioners.
Foy has been actively involved in the Merb open-source ecosystem for over a year, particularly with DataMapper. He uses Merb in his day-to-day activities as a full-time application developer and is an enthusiastic evangelist for the framework. He will be working on The Merb Way book full-time, and we hope to have it published early next year.
Incidentally, you can meet Foy in person in Boston on November 17-20 at the Addison-Wesley Voices that Matter: Professional Ruby Conference where he will be introducing the audience to the wonders of Merb development.