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The Nature of Software Development; Google Drive Support

September 10, 2014

Lots of exciting news this week! Read on for news about Google Drive support, the winners in our latest contest, and the latest from industry luminary Ron Jeffries.

Ron Jeffries has something to say. We think you should listen.

Ron has developed commercial software in assembler, FORTRAN, Pascal, C, C++, and Smalltalk, and substantial non-commercial development in LISP, Forth, and probably half a dozen other languages. He's written commercial operating systems, compilers, relational and set-theoretic database systems, and a wide range of applications.

Ron is one of the inventors of Extreme Programming (XP) and one of the seventeen authors (with Dave and Andy) of the Agile Manifesto, and has been involved in agile software development from the very beginnings.

Let Ron build your understanding of software development in his new book, The Nature of Software Development: Keep It Simple, Make It Valuable, Build It Piece by Piece, now available in beta from

The Nature of Software Development: Keep It Simple, Make It Valuable, Build It Piece by Piece

The book describes software development, starting from our natural desire to get something of value. Each topic is described with a picture and a few paragraphs. You're invited to think about each topic; to take it in. You'll think about how each step into the process leads to the next. You'll begin to see why Agile methods ask for what they do, and you'll learn why a shallow implementation of Agile can lead to only limited improvement.

This is not a detailed map, nor a step-by-step set of instructions for building the perfect project. There is no map or instructions that will do that for you.

You need to build your own project, making it a bit more perfect every day. To do that effectively, you need to build up an understanding of the whole process.

This book points out the milestones on your journey of understanding the nature of software development done well. It takes you to a location, describes it briefly, and leaves you to explore and fill in your own understanding.

Now available from

Google Drive Support

Good news! In addition to electronic delivery to Dropbox and Kindle, we've added support for Google Drive.

It works the same as Dropbox: you enable it at, and our gerbils will drop newly generated books into your Google Drive in the Pragmatic Bookshelf folder.

The big benefit of this is reading books on Android devices. Install the Google Drive client and the Google Play Reader app, and your bookshelf books are just a click away.


And the Winners Are…

Thanks to everyone who wrote in. Your stories were great—inspiring, exciting, and fun. We picked three winners from the submissions; each of these readers each of these readers will receive five paperback books of their choice from the Pragmatic Bookshelf.

And now (drumroll, please…) the winners:

Philip Heath, Southwest Airlines:

“The Pragmatic Bookshelf, to me, embodies the way of life for IT.”

Any conversation about the impact of the Pragmatic Bookshelf has to begin with the original–The Pragmatic Programmer. To borrow from the Rose Bowl, it is the “Granddaddy of Them All,” and it is easily one of the most important books in IT over the last 20 years.

The Pragmatic Bookshelf also kept me abreast of various trends in process and technology over the years. I learned Ruby and later Groovy through various books, and I kept my technical skills sharp. This allowed me to move into a role as an architect when the opportunity arose last year. I first learned about continuous integration through Ship It!, and I learned a lot about agile development through the Pragmatic Bookshelf. In short, it is one of my go-to sources when I need to learn something new.

The Pragmatic Bookshelf, to me, embodies the way of life for IT. It establishes a proper worldview with grounding principles, then it gives you the tools you need to carry out your day to day responsibilities. What more can you ask for?

Gonzalo Rodríguez-Baltanás Díaz, Ruby on Rails developer:

“And that changed everything.”

Last year I took a class on Advanced Web Development and one of the chapters was on Ruby on Rails. I knew nothing about that sort of thing, but I searched the Web for a good source to learn it. I found very good reviews for Agile Web Development with Rails, published by the Pragmatic Bookshelf, so I bought it.

And that changed everything.

I spent a whole week reading the whole book all day. It was fascinating. I loved it and I decided I wanted to become a Ruby on Rails developer. Now I am a professional Ruby on Rails developer working on a great team at a profitable company, on a product used by hundreds of thousands of people. I have a great job in a time where most people of my generation and country are either unemployed or severely underpaid.

It is all thanks to the great writers at Pragmatic Bookshelf.

Rob Simpson, Agilex Technologies:

“Changing the minds of some of the most talented people that I know”

I can't say enough about how the knowledge that is shared by PragProg has not only helped me, but has been instrumental in changing the minds of some of the most talented people that I know. Whether it is the developers, testers, Scrum master, and more, each of them have found good use for the books.

We have roughly 250 developers in our company, and recently we started to share knowledge together by sharing books. I brought in the books that I have purchased from PragProg and within an hour they had all been swept up. The principle we have is that once a book has been read, it is shared with another person. So far the books that I have brought have yet to find their way back to my desk.

All of the books that I have from PragProg are without a doubt the most knowledge-based, enjoyable reads that I have read yet.

Upcoming Author Appearances

  • 2014-09-12 Rachel Davies, Lean Agile Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
  • 2014-09-18 Chris Adamson, CocoaConf Las Vegas
  • 2014-09-19 Chris Adamson, CocoaConf Las Vegas
  • 2014-09-20 Chris Adamson, CocoaConf Las Vegas
  • 2014-09-25 Dave Thomas, GOTO Copenhagen
  • 2014-09-29 Dave Thomas, GOTO Aarhus
  • 2014-10-02 Portia Tung, Agile Cambridge, UK
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    Coming Soon:

    • CoffeeScript: Accelerated JavaScript Development, Second Edition
    • Fire in the Valley in print
    • Seven More Languages in Seven Weeks in print

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