Yesterday a wonderful 19-month journey came to an end. I released the last chapter of my book Software Craftsmanship: Professionalism, Pragmatism, Pride. As an avid reader since a young age, writing a book was always something I wanted to do. For me, it didn't matter if people would read it or not; I just wanted to write a book I was proud of. I wanted to write a book that would help developers and companies to get better. A book that could inspire developers to care about their craft. I also wanted a book that my kids, at some point in the future, could read and be inspired, even if they had chosen different professions. I'm not sure if they will read it or be inspired by it, but at least I'm giving my best shot.
If you think estimating a piece of work is difficult, try estimating how long it will take to write a book. Since I chose a subject that is so close to my heart, I thought I would be done in one year. Maximum. Well, it took 19 months. I was in love with it and I just couldn't stop writing it. For my surprise, the book ended up becoming very personal and a real pleasure to write. The book also became much bigger than I expected and I felt the pressure to finish it because of its size and not because I wanted. It was a difficult decision because I had to choose, among many things that I still wanted to write about, what would be in the book and what wouldn't. Many things that I consider important, when it comes to the current status of Software Craftsmanship, ended up not making the cut. I hope to publish them one day, either in another book or in blog posts.
I came to realise that writing is far more difficult than I thought, mainly when writing in a foreign language. There were times where it was very difficult to keep momentum. There were times I was lost, went off on a tangent, or I was not in the right mindset. There were times where I had to throw entire chapters or sections away and start over. There were times I was tired and finding difficult to find the time to move forward with the book. But there were two very important things that helped me to keep going: My passion for the subject, and the amazing amount of encouragement and positive feedback from the readers. During tough times, the latter was far more important than the former.
If you dream to write a book, and I could give just one piece of advice, that would be: release it often and get feedback. Get your readers involved and talk to them. Your readers will become a huge source of inspiration and energy.
I'll be sharing more advices about the process I adopted to write the book, either via blogs or during LSCC meetings in the future.
For now, I hope you enjoy the book. I can't promise you will enjoy it or be inspired by it, but I can tell you that I wrote it from the heart, and I did my best to share many of the things I've learnt during my career. I'm proud to be a software craftsman and I hope you get inspired to become one as well.