Storm Applied: Behind the Scenes

Almost two years ago, I embarked on a project that I had no idea the immensity of. And today, it has finally led to this:

Storm Applied

It started with my bugging Matt Jankowski to write a “mea culpa” blog post about our problems getting going with Storm at TheLadders. The idea was to start with a “boy we didn’t know what we were doing” post and continue on with a series of posts about running Storm in a production. The first post happened, the rest never did. Instead, Manning reached out to Matt and before long, we were writing a book.

I don’t remember now what I envisioned the book being when we first signed the contract. I know that Storm Applied isn’t that book but I’m quite happy with it nonetheless. There’s a lot of hard earned lessons packed into the latter half of the book that I think will help a lot of people trying to run Storm in production. Hopefully our pain can benefit a lot of people. There’s a ton of stories I could tell about writing the book, some good, some bad but I think I’ll just leave you with a few “behind the scenes” vignettes:

  • We really wanted to call the book Thinking in Storm but there is already a Thinking in … series of books.
  • I wanted to subtitle the book “I wanna go fast” but that got rejected. Still, it sort of worked out.
  • We intended to write “an advanced book” but ended up writing a book that starts as an intro and ends really advanced because there were no good intro Storm books in print.
  • I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME trying to work lines from this scene into the book.
  • Manning googled an Eleanor Roosevelt quote and made us change the attribution to “misquoted”.

Pretty sure Eleanor Roosevelt did say this

  • Most of the content I wrote was written using Write Room. Full screen; no distractions = Awesome. Then Matt turned it into a “Manning usable” format because…
  • Manning uses MS Word for manuscripts. I managed to get through the entire book without really knowing how to use Word thanks to Matt.
  • The source code for Chapter 6 got messed up and after the book had gone to press, I was working on recreating miss parts from what was in the chapter and memory.
  • Whenever our editor mentioned “the publisher”, it always sounded very mysterious; much like someone talking about Charlie from Charlie’s Angels.
  • While writing Storm Applied, I scientifically determined that The Jam is the best band to listen to while writing a book.