Lots of people to thank, without whom this book would never have happened, and/or would have been even worse than it is.
Thanks first to “Greg” at $OTHER_PUBLISHER, who was the first person to encourage me to believe it really could be done. Even though your employers turned out to have overly regressive views on copyright, I’m forever grateful that you believed in me.
Thanks to Michael Foord, another ex-employee of Resolver Systems, for providing the original inspiration by writing a book himself, and thanks for his ongoing support for the project. Thanks also to my boss Giles Thomas, for foolishly allowing another one of his employees to write a book (although I believe he’s now changed the standard employment contract to say “no books”). Thanks also for your ongoing wisdom and for setting me off on the testing path.
Thanks to my other colleagues, Glenn Jones and Hansel Dunlop, for being invaluable sounding boards, and your patience with my one-track record conversation over the last year.
Thanks to my wife Clementine, and to both my families, without whose support and patience I would never have made it. I apologise for all the time spent with nose in computer on what should have been memorable family occasions. I had no idea when I set out what the book would do to my life (“write it in my spare time you say? That sounds reasonable…”). I couldn’t have done it without you.
Thanks to my tech reviewers, Jonathan Hartley, Nicholas Tollervey, and Emily Bache, for your encouragements and invaluable feedback. Especially Emily, who actually conscientiously read every single chapter. Partial credit to Nick and Jon, but that should still be read as eternal gratitude. Having y’all around made the whole thing less of a lonely endeavour. Without all of you the book would have been little more than the nonsensical ramblings of an idiot.
Thanks to everyone else who’s given up some of their time to give some feedback on the book, out of nothing more than the goodness of their heart: Gary Bernhardt, Mark Lavin, Matt O’Donnell, Michael Foord, Hynek Schlawack, Russell Keith-Magee, Andrew Godwin, Kenneth Reitz, and Nathan Stocks. Thanks for being much smarter than I am, and for preventing me from saying several stupid things. Naturally, there are still plenty of stupid things left in the book, for which y’all can absolutely not be held responsible.
Thanks to my editor Meghan Blanchette, for being a very friendly and likeable slave driver, for keeping the book on track, both in terms of timescales and by restraining my sillier ideas. Thanks to all the others at O’Reilly for your help, including Sarah Schneider, Kara Ebrahim, and Dan Fauxsmith for letting me keep British English. Thanks to Charles Roumeliotis for your help with style and grammar. We may never see eye-to-eye on the merits of Chicago School quotation/punctuation rules, but I sure am glad you were around. And thanks to the design department for giving us a goat for the cover!
And thanks most especially to all my Early Release readers, for all your help picking out typos, for your feedback and suggestions, for all the ways in which you helped to smooth out the learning curve in the book, and most of all for your kind words of encouragement and support that kept me going. Thank you Jason Wirth, Dave Pawson, Jeff Orr, Kevin De Baere, crainbf, dsisson, Galeran, Michael Allan, James O’Donnell, Marek Turnovec, SoonerBourne, julz, Cody Farmer, William Vincent, Trey Hunner, David Souther, Tom Perkin, Sorcha Bowler, Jon Poler, Charles Quast, Siddhartha Naithani, Steve Young, Roger Camargo, Wesley Hansen, Johansen Christian Vermeer, Ian Laurain, Sean Robertson, Hari Jayaram, Bayard Randel, Konrad Korżel, Matthew Waller, Julian Harley, Barry McClendon, Simon Jakobi, Angelo Cordon, Jyrki Kajala, Manish Jain, Mahadevan Sreenivasan, Konrad Korżel, Deric Crago, Cosmo Smith, Markus Kemmerling, Andrea Costantini, Daniel Patrick, Ryan Allen, Jason Selby, Greg Vaughan, Jonathan Sundqvist, Richard Bailey, Diane Soini, Dale Stewart, Mark Keaton, Johan Wärlander, Simon Scarfe, Eric Grannan, Marc-Anthony Taylor, Maria McKinley, John McKenna, and many, many more. If I’ve missed your name, you have an absolute right to be aggrieved; I am incredibly grateful to you too, so write to me and I will try and make it up to you in any way I can.
And finally thanks to you, the latest reader, for deciding to check out the book! I hope you enjoy it.