"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . ." Well, actually it was late in 2000, during Apress's first full year of operation. We were a tiny little computer book publisher then, with little name recognition, and we planned to publish only a handful of books that year—roughly as many books for that whole year as Apress now publishes in a single month.

I was learning the hard way about how to be a publisher and probably spending way too much time looking at web sites and programming than I should have in response to that. Anyway, one day I came across this web site called Joel on Software, which was run by a guy with strong opinions and an unusual, clever writing style, along with a willingness to take on ...

Get MORE JOEL ON SOFTWARE: Further Thoughts on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.