Announcing "Experiences": an e-zine for software practitioners
Story-telling is a long-established human activity with a rich and diverse history. Today the power of story-telling is applied in software development teams through retrospectives, appreciative inquiry, narrative therapy, and cynefin techniques, as well as around the water cooler. Stories help us to understand, question, and inform the way we practice our craft. (Think for example of the way that the story of the C3 project was woven in to the early XP movement.)
It struck me a while ago that the only stories that software practitioners tend to share in print are 'headline' stories: bigger, bolder and more in-your-face than many of us might relate to. Where are the everyday stories of 'aha' moments, hopes and disappointments, and tales from the code face? There are plenty of these in blogs – one of the reasons why the blogging medium is so popular, I think – but no collections publishing a variety of voices in one place.
Or at least there were no such collections until Joel Spolsky put together Best Software Writing.
There are plenty more interesting and informative stories not in that book, and the number of those unheard stories increases every day. So I wondered to myself, why not seek out more stories and make them available electronically? Which is what I intend to do: this is the official announcement of the launch of the grass roots e-zine Experiences, that will collect stories from software practitioners and share them in the community.
My vision is that this e-zine becomes a collaborative endeavour, "published" three to four times a year, with varying editors, themes and contributors. For the first edition I'm looking for descriptions around 500 words long of events that actually happened to you, with or without an explicit commentary or lessons learnt section. Preference will be given to European contributors providing original (unpublished) material covered by a Creative Commons license. The target audience is software practitioners and consultants working in Europe, but stories don't have to be limited to the realm of software development. If you'd like to contribute or have any questions or observations then I'd love to hear from you! Here's hoping for a great launch issue in August...