The Best of edw519
A Hacker News Top Contributor
by Ed Weissman
┬⌐ 2011 by Ed Weissman. | All rights reserved.
Original article is here: http://edweissman.com/53640595 and
Who am I?
Why did I write this book?
How did I write this book?
Chapter 1 - Advice to Young Programmers
Chapter 2 - Education
Chapter 3 - Careers
Chapter 4 - Work Habits
Chapter 5 - The ProgrammerΓΓé¼Γäós Lifestyle
Chapter 6 - Philosophy
Chapter 7 - Building Stuff
Chapter 8 - Software Business
Chapter 9 - Enterprise Life
Chapter 10 - Selling
Chapter 11 - Just for Fun
Who am I?
My name is Ed Weissman and I've been programming professionally for 32 years.
I've done work for many companies, both enterprises and small/medium businesses. I've functioned as an employee, a contractor, and a vendor. I've worked in many industries, almost always on business systems.
I started out on IBM mainframes, moved to mini-computers, then to PCs, and finally to web-based technologies.
I've started three businesses, two with partners and one alone, selling both services and products.
I've worked with hundreds of people on over a thousand projects and encountered over a million lines of code.
I've witnessed a lot of business and technology, some great, some good, and some not so good. I've always loved what I do and can't imagine doing anything else.
I've formed lots of opinions and freely shared many of them on-line. So I recently decided to compile my favorite 256 Hacker News contributions here.
I never get too technical. There are plenty of other resources for that. Inside you'll find the opinions of someone who's been in the trenches for years and isn't afraid to say what he thinks. Whether or not you agree, understand, or even care, I hope you find something of value. That's the best I could hope for.
Why did I write this book?
Because you asked for it.
I started commenting on Hacker News when I discovered it four years ago. For a computer programmer, it had lots of cool articles, interesting commentary, and most of all, like minded souls. It became my on-line home - the location may have been virtual, but the results have been all too real.
Little did I know where this would lead...
Thanks for all the thought inducing discussion and encouraging feedback, both on-line and by email.
Lots of people claimed benefits from my comments and suggested that I do more, either by blogging or writing a book. My response was always, "I do write -- software." I was always afraid that devoting time to writing prose would take away time from writing source code. It took a while before I realized that this wasn't a zero-sum game; different kinds of writing can compliment and even enhance each other.
The feedback that finally got me over the hump was this comment from an anonymous poster:
"Seriously, have you ever thought about writing a book? I learn something new and valuable every time I read a comment of yours, since your comments almost always contain really good tips. I for one would buy that book for sure."
My comments have visited far more interesting places than I ever have:
"Harvard Business Review"
"mixergy" by Andrew Warner
"SKMurphy" by Sean Murphy
"allExceptTech" by Ketan Khairnar
"FundFindr" by Bret Conkin
"University of Washington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine" by Jonathan Jacky
"Why does everything suck?" by Hank Williams
"Sixteenth Letter" by Melissa Chang
"Back of the Envelope" by Mr. E
And finally, some of the nice things people have said about the comments of my on-line persona:
"...edw519, most of his stuff is thoroughly thought-provoking..." - Matt Mazur
"The Best Comment Ever (No, I DidnΓΓé¼Γäót Write It)... by edw519, writing an incredible comment on an otherwise unworthy Hacker News story." - Mark O'Connor
"...another great comment from edw519..." - Sigit Nurseto
"...an excellent follow-up comment at HN by uber-poster edw519..." - D. C. Toedt
"...Ed Weissman (edw519 on HN) had another great comment recently on Hacker News...and he offers a great list of reasons why..." - Sean Murphy
"From Hacker News commenter edw519 comes this gem..." - Andrew R. Freed
"...Hacker News reader edw519 makes a great observation..." by Rams
"And then there are the folks who have such an intelligent and unique voice that you can tell who the comment is before you see their username (patio11 and edw519, to name two)." - Ryan Waggoner
Thanks to all of you. I hope to pass on your positive energy to others in some way. This book is my first step.