Each month we profile a member of the Pragmatic Bookshelf team. This month it’s Brian Hogan, author, web developer, trainer, musician, and Pragmatic Bookshelf development editor.
Brian Hogan, Development Editor and Author
Brian both edits and writes books for The Pragmatic Bookshelf. He’d written a few articles in 2006 on how he was deploying production Rails applications on Windows servers, and the authors of Deploying Rails Applications asked him to contribute a chapter to the book. “I fell in love with everything about the Prags from that point on. I worked with two amazing development editors—Daniel Steinberg and Susannah Pfalzer—who helped me put together some good stuff, and I thought it would be great to be able to do the same thing for other authors.”
For Brian, the author/editor combination works really well. “Since I’ve written some books, I know how the authors feel. I know the kinds of questions they’re going to have and the types of problems they’ll encounter at various stages of their books. And when I go back to a writing project of my own, I have a much greater appreciation of the whole book publishing process.
“I love helping authors develop stories. As a DE, I’m often a sounding board for their ideas, but I also get to suggest things that might help the reader connect the dots. I also love the teaching aspect. It’s very satisfying to see how much an author grows throughout the project and it’s fun to be a small part of that. I like to write code, and so it’s fun to learn about new technologies and try things out. I get to be the author’s first reader sometimes, and that’s a blast.
“A little-known fact about me is that my father, daughter, and I were all born with congenital cataracts. When I was a baby I had surgery to remove the lenses in my eyes. I wear contact lenses and glasses, but have relatively reduced vision and I routinely use assistive technology when I’m writing code or working on books. I’m a somewhat loud advocate of web accessibility, and I’m always looking for ways to help other people understand that accessibility makes things more usable for everyone.”