Adam Petersen - Software Development Pages, Book Reviews Section
Start News Articles Book Reviews

Book Review

The Best of Verity Stob
by Verity Stob

ISBN-13: 978-1590594421
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 316

I cannot believe I’ve never heard of Verity Stob before. Verity is brilliant and British, the latter with the consequence that I don’t get one third of the jokes, probably more. I’m in good company; Scott Meyers is quoted on the back cover confessing that he isn’t a reader of her column as he “generally can’t figure out what she’s talking about”.

This best-of volume collects Verity’s columns from the late 80s EXE magazine up to rather recent writings in Dr Dobb’s journal and The Register. I will not even try to recap some stories, as I seriously doubt I can do them justice. The topics range from Visual Basic rants, tips on how to survive a code review, a Bridget Jones style diary in the software world, and a sketch on a Tomb Raider like game with Verity herself as the star. Verity’s writings are excellent Geeklit in a truly unique style that is hilariously fun to read. Like all good sarcasm, Verity’s writings show a deep, although often subtly hidden, understanding of the topics.

I do doubt this book will make anyone a better programmer, but if you’re looking for an entertaining read and share the belief that reading the private thoughts of a running process is as good as humor gets, this one’s definitely for you. And Verity, you just got yourself one more fan.

Reviewed June 2007

©2005 Adam Petersen