Last week there was a lull in exams – that I now almost regret indulging – and as often happens ideas started flowing. Plenty of ideas for new products, productifying old prototypes and so on.

An idea I’d had a few weeks ago came back to me, what if I was to write a book? It seems I can get a few people to read my blogposts, would they read a book?

Write a book?

On Thursday I set out to test the book idea. With more readers than all the other posts on this blog combined, Why programmers work at night was the perfect candidate for a topic.

After re-reading that essay thing, I realized it’s full of assumptions supported by anecdotal evidence from a group of one, arm-chair-science reasoning about causes and atrocious writing.

I can totally do better!

By evening the pitch was written, basic goals outlined and a landing page set up on leanpub. -> https://leanpub.com/nightowls

Writing the book I want to talk to as many programmers of all types as possible, conduct short interviews with them to be featured in the book, conduct a survey or two and once and for all answer three important questions:

  1. Do programmers work at night?
  2. Does this happen more than in other creative disciplines?
  3. How the hell do you handle a night-time programmer in your life?

The experiment was simple, if I can get 100 people to sign up by the end of September I was going to write the book.

So far 238 have signed up. Most within the first 48 hours of the page being up. Hooray \o/

Right, now I have this book to write … it’s a bit scary, very exciting and I think I can pull it off. But we won’t know for certain until I do.

Here’s the plan:

  1. In October I start conducting interviews – send me an email at swizec+nightowls@swizec.com if you want to help
  2. By November I want to publish the first minimum viable book, a beta version if you will
  3. By December the book should be in a final state and publishable “for real”
  4. Continue updating the text as new ideas/info surfaces and publish an updated version every couple of months

To make things more interesting, I’m writing the book out in the open on github -> https://github.com/Swizec/nightowls. There I will be accepting bug reports, anything you feel is wrong, just tell me.

Oh and you get to see the content before it’s published, but pdf’s are nicer to read than markdown files 😉

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