Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In Praise of Technical Reviewers

It came to my attention recently that I had made a bad assumption about the Productive Programmer book. My understanding (and apparently this is common) is that the technical reviewers of the book would get an entry on the title page of the book. Apparently, that's not the case. That's why I didn't put them in the acknowledgements: I assumed they had already been recognized. But they haven't, so I'm going to rectify it.

First, I've added a special paragraph to the acknowledgements in the 2nd printing of the book, thanking the hard-working technical reviewers. This is a little unusual (generally, nothing changes between printings, but I felt badly about this). The other thing I'm going to do is thank them here. This is the new paragraph in the 2nd printing:

A special thanks goes out to the technical reviewers for this book. Without their hard work and dedication, this book would suffer lots of silly mistakes and confusing explanations. Thanks to Greg Ostravich (who has reviewed every book of mine for the last few years and gotten no recognition, unfortunately), Venkat Subramaniam, David Bock, Nathaniel Schutta, and Matthew McCullough.

Greg gets a special thanks. He's reviewed everything I've written over the past few years, and circumstances keep preventing him from being acknowledged. In the 2006 No Fluff, Just Stuff Anthology (which he reviewed), I was under the same mistaken assumption that the reviewers got a shout out. In the 2007 No Fluff, Just Stuff Anthology (which he reviewed), I specifically wrote a thanks to him and the other reviewers. But, alas, the book came in too long, and several pieces got cut, along with my original introduction to the book (it was replaced by Ted Neward's). Unfortunately, the shout out got axed with the introduction. And, now, clearly demonstrating hope over experience, Greg volunteered to review the Productive Programmer, and the same thing happened. So while I'm thanking the other Productive Programmer technical reviewers, I'm both thanking and begging forgiveness from Greg. Good job, buddy, and unacknowledged for too long.


Anonymous said...

Neal, no worries. It was a treat to review the book for you. Perhaps you can correct the link to me though. Not sure who MattMcCullough.net is, but I'm actually on the web at http://www.ambientideas.com

Congratulations to you on an excellent book. We were able to give away two complimentary copies and the recipients just loved it. Also, have been pointing folks towards the local SoftPro bookstore to grab their own copies of this excellent title.

Anonymous said...

...noting that the other reviewers names are linked to blogs, another link for me is http://denverdev.blogspot.com/

Thanks for having me participate in your excellent book.

Matthew McCullough

DenverJuggler said...

I e-mailed you too but thought I should leave a comment.
All is forgiven; thanks for the blog entry and the recognition.
Your work is great and I'm so proud to have worked on what I consider to be a pretty significant piece of work that I lump in with books like "The Pragmatic Programmer", "Code Complete", and "Mythical Man Month."