The Existential Pleasures of Blogging

  1. Posted on March 24, 2007 1:57:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. overview, blogging, Steve McConnell, software development, Management

I've been reluctant to start a blog because the things I would blog about are just not the things that I would normally write about. Sometimes I joke that I have a long attention span. Most people's issue is that they can't focus for a long time; they're easily distracted and can't complete large tasks. That isn't my issue. My issue is not being able to focus for a short time. Sometimes I really need to dive deep and simply can't bring myself to work on the non-deep tasks. If the task is three months long and really meaty, I can do it. If it's 15 minutes long and superficial, I can't even start it. Thus the joke about the a long attention span.

Blogging seems to me to be quintessentially a short attention span task. That's not the greatest match for my interest in software development topics. But it isn't a bad match for my interest in recreational topics. And I think I can bring myself to focus on software development in bite-size chunks, at least from time to time. Consequently I've set up two blogs, one for software development and one for everything else. This blog, 10x Software Development, will focus on leading software development practices. My other blog, Waxing Philosophical, will focus on more personal topics.

Steve McConnell

Jon said:

May 1, 2007 12:15:PM

Excellent! I can't wait! ;-)

Mitch.Wheat said:

May 9, 2007 6:03:AM

Excellent News!  Looking forward to reading your blog.

ender said:

May 24, 2007 4:14:PM

Awesome news! I have been waiting for this blog for a long time :)

madmaxx said:

May 25, 2007 10:34:AM

Whose blogs do you read, Steve?

Maksym Shostak said:

May 31, 2007 10:33:AM

It's great that you are now writing more frequently: your books are a great base for teaching CompSci today!

Blogging can be a cognitively short-spanned tool, but it can also be a long-term thinking medium (as used by Paul Graham, or Joel Spolsky).  As a reader, I've found that reading good web logs is a lot like a director's commentary of a writer's through process.  You see how the arguments are formed, and how they grow into fluid concepts (rather than just the final form).  It can be a great thing.  It doesn't replace the textbook, instead it adds related fodder, including linking the fundimentals to how the world changes.

Steve McConnell said:

May 31, 2007 11:53:AM

Great comment by madmaxx. Thinking about blogs that way would probably help. Now the question is just whether people who read the blog can remember that the blog is much less final than other writings.

Interesting comment by Maksym Shostak too. I think one of the reasons I was slow to start blogging is that I don't read any blogs regularly myself. I've read lots of specific blog postings over the years, but there aren't any blogs I check with any regularity.

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Steve McConnell

Steve McConnell is CEO and Chief Software Engineer at Construx Software where he consults to a broad range of industries, teaches seminars, and oversees Construx’s software development practices. In 1998, readers of Software Development magazine named Steve one of the three most influential people in the software industry along with Bill Gates and Linus Torvalds.

Steve is the author of Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art (2006), Code Complete (1993, 2004), Rapid Development (1996), Software Project Survival Guide (1998), and Professional Software Development (2004). His books twice won Software Development magazine's Jolt Excellence award for outstanding software development book of the year.

Steve has served as Editor in Chief of IEEE Software magazine, on the Panel of Experts of the SWEBOK project, and as Chair of the IEEE Computer Society’s Professional Practices Committee.

Steve received a Bachelor’s degree from Whitman College, graduating Magna Cum Laud, Phi Beta Kappa, and earned a Master’s degree in software engineering from Seattle University.
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