Aaron Sumner

November 2019 update

It's been a few months since I've done one of these. Things blew up in my face this year. I'm working to dig myself out now. I'm not going to get into the details, or speculate on what's next for me, in the interest of living in the present. Don't worry; I'm doing ok.

Anyway, here's a couple of things I've been up to of late (scoped to this month). I'll try to get more regular with these things again in the coming months.

A couple of weeks ago, I teased a new writing project on Twitter. It's still pretty raw, and I'm not totally sure it's going to work out like it looks in my head. Earlier this year, I picked up my old copy of The Pragmatic Programmer for a re-read, and discovered that a 20th anniversary edition was in the works (since released). I get questions about updates as soon as my book gets a tick behind the latest revision of Rails, and have never charged readers for new editions (though I've also never promised a lifetime deal, just saying).

So you might imagine that the idea of a book that only needs updating every twenty years sounds mighty compelling to me right now.

I'm not at write a book phase for this yet; I'm barely at the write a few blog posts yet. But the gist is, share general lessons I've learned over the years about writing software, in an approachable, and consistent, but brief, format. Think Seth Godin, but for writing software. And try to do so with as little code as possible, to both broaden scope (outside of Ruby/Rails/RSpec) and lengthen shelf life.

So far I've been outlining and jotting down bits as I think about them. This project is by no means definite; I could get bored with it or it may just not come together the way I want it to. But if it does come to light I'll share more about it here.

As a lot of you may know, one of my hobbies is cooking outside. That's one of the nice things about living someplace where it's light out until like ten during the summer–I can cook multiple times a week that way, if I want. But even during the winter, I try to fire up my smoker at least once a month. I had one of my best cooks of the year this week, cooking a boneless turkey breast low and slow, in the style of Franklin Barbecue.

There are lots of videos online showing how to do this, but my favorite approach for my Weber smoker is the "Central Texas style" technique outlined on the Virtual Weber Bullet. The secret, as with most things in life, is to use butter. Lots and lots of butter.

If you're still reading, I have a small favor to ask. If you happen to be doing any shopping this holiday season on Amazon, would you mind making a (small) purchase through my Amazon affiliate link? It's not about money for me–at my peak, I was getting enough from them to maybe buy one book a year. But I do use an API from them to populate my reading list, and they've cut off access to low-performing affiliates like me unless we've generated revenue for them in the past 30 days. Otherwise I have to copy and paste. It's a drag, but not the end of the world, and I understand if you'd rather support local and/or independent retailers. I would do the same.

. Questions or comments? Let me know what you think.