I Am Not Charles Dickens, and Other Reasons There Won't Be an Important Programming Concepts Part VII

In 1836, the London publishing firm of Chapman and Hall hired Charles Dickens, then 24 years old, to write text for what was to be a series of illustrated magazines titled The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. If not the first serial publication, The Pickwick Papers did launch the format into contemporary society, as well as ensuring Dickens’s literary success, and many of our novels from that time were published in serial form. At the time, hardcover books were expensive, and the modern mass-market paperback did not come into being for another hundred years with the advent of Penguin Books and Pocket Books in the late 1930’s. The mass-market publication of the Victorian era was the cheap pulp magazine.

Those of you who read my blog on embeddedrelated.com may be aware that last year (2014) I started a series on Important Programming Concepts (Even on Embedded Systems). I had the first five topics in mind from the very beginning (originally it was just going to be one article with five brief sections), and I figured, what the heck, I’ll make it a series. I also made a decision which I rarely did in earlier articles and will avoid in the future: at the end of each article, which explored a one-word concept, I mentioned which concept would come next. My intent at the time was to publish one article in the series about every month.

Eaugghh!!! Bleahhh!!! Commitment!!! While repeatable and dependable commitment to readers is an important part of being a successful author, it is a form of self-slavery, one which I don’t need in my life. Because I am not Charles Dickens. My blog is not my primary, or even secondary, purpose in life. If you want to read what I write, take what you get and be happy. I might quit tomorrow. Deal with it. I’ve already promised too much; that third part of my series on estimating encoder velocity is hanging over my head, and I probably will not be able to get to it until 2016 at the very least. I don’t like writing something unless I do it well and feel confident, and I need to shut myself in a room and become one with the concept of Luenberger observers, before I can explain it to other people, and that will take time that I don’t have right now. Even completing part VI of the Important Programming Concepts series took a while to finish the way I wanted.

And there’s another problem, too, with the serial format. Good series really require a sense of unity. But once you publish one installment, BAM! You’re locked in forever. Yeah, I can go back and revise an article. But I don’t want to do it that way. That means that there are multiple versions, the one I published first, and then the revised version, and it’s just messy.

So no more. Yeah, I’ve got a laundry list of other programming concepts I’d like to write about, but locking myself into a regularly-published series is not something I want to do.

And Now For Something Completely Different: Early Adopters Wanted

Some of the things I do want to cover will take me time to write about. And I do want to get them exactly the way I want. I probably will publish them on EmbeddedRelated.com initially. But I need some help in the form of feedback before I commit to publication. So I’m looking for a few “early adopters” to read some of my articles in draft form. Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Enthusiastic readers who have a wide range of experience in software engineering (familiar with at least two divergent methods of programming, whether they are different programming languages, or the same programming language used in two very different ways e.g. desktop programming and embedded systems programming)

  • I will provide you with early access to a draft of some of my articles

  • You’ll read them and send me feedback

  • I will include your name in an acknowledgements section upon publication (other than that, there’s no financial benefit to you, sorry)

If you are interested, contact me via the EmbeddedRelated.com website. All I can promise is that these articles will be like the Important Programming Concepts series, only more interesting.