Interview: Author Jeremy McAnally

Our Book Promotion: “Ruby in Practice” starts soon. Win one of four books to be given out for participation. The coolest thing? Author Jeremy McAnally will be on site to answer questions! Click here for more details. Here, in this brief interview, Satish Talim of RubyLearning talks to Jeremy McAnally.

Ruby in Practice

Satish>> Jeremy, could you tell us something about yourself – your background, where you are based?

Jeremy>> I’m Jeremy McAnally. I’ve been developing software for about 8 years now, bouncing from VB3 (16-bit, w00t!) to PHP to C# to Python to Ruby and beyond working on a really wide array of projects. I’m currently based in Huntsville, AL.

Satish>> Assaf Arkin is also a co-author of the book. Tell us something about him.

Jeremy>> Assaf has a lot of experience in software, far more than I do, and experience brings a lot of hard earned wisdom with it. Throughout the book project it was great to be able to discuss ideas that I’d learned with someone else who had enough experience to really tell me whether I’d learned a good lesson or if I had misinterpreted the situation. :)

Satish>> Your book “Ruby in Practice” – what is it about?

Jeremy>>Ruby in Practice” is a book on using Ruby beyond the basics — basically, it’s written to answer, “I know Ruby…now what?” It shows you how to apply Ruby in common business scenarios and what tools you should use to solve those problems.

Satish>> Who is the book targeted at?

Jeremy>> It’s primarily targeted at intermediate developers who know Ruby. We spend time at the beginning of the book covering more advanced language topics that your introductory course or book may have left out, and then quickly move to using those advanced concepts to discuss solving problems with Ruby.

Satish>> What’s been your experience with the publisher – Manning Publications?

Jeremy>> The team has been great. It’s been a long road from the book’s initial state, and they’ve been abundantly patient and supportive along the way.

Satish>> Your book has many co-authors like Yehuda Katz, David Black, Gregory Brown, Peter Cooper, and Luke Melia. How was this experience?

Jeremy>> Oh, it was fantastic working with these guys. As the book progressed, Assaf and I realized that we “know” how to use everything and have used these tools in real projects, but it would bring a much richer tone and wider range of experiences if we could bring in people who have used these things even more than us (possibly even specialize in it) or have actually written the libraries we discuss (such as Greg Brown and Ruport). After they wrote their chapter, we passed through and added notes, extensions, and extra sections based on our own knowledge. I think overall the meshing of their experiences with ours created an extremely rich discussion of these topics.

Satish>> Looking back, are there some topics that you now wish should have been covered or dropped from the book?

Jeremy>> I really wish we could have used handsoap rather than soap4r. I know soap4r is the tried and true standard for SOAP in Ruby, but handsoap looks so much nicer. I also wish that we could have gone into creating web services a little more using Rack or something, but perhaps that was outside the scope of the book.

Satish>> Anything else you would like to add?

Jeremy>> Thanks for interviewing me.

Thank you Jeremy. In case you have any queries and/or questions, kindly post your questions here (as comments to this blog post) and Jeremy would be glad to answer.

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