Monday, January 21, 2013

Best Practices of Spell Design

The Best Practices of Spell Design book is available! The second book in the Computational Fairy Tales universe introduces the programing and software engineering best practices.

In all his years as a wizard, Marcus has never seen a spell cause this much damage. When Hannaldous's sloppy attempt at a shield spell accidentally curses the castle, the walls start crumbling at an alarming rate. Now Marcus and his apprentice Shelly must figure out how to repair the damage before the castle turns to dust. Along the way they will encounter gossiping worms, perfectionist bakers, opportunistic rabbits, and copious amounts of mold.

The Best Practices of Spell Design introduces practical aspects of software development that are often learned through painful experience. Through Marcus and Shelly’s quest, the story encourages readers to think about how to write readable, well-tested and maintainable programs. Readers will discover the importance of comments in recipes, the value of testing potions, the dangers of poorly named ingredients, the wonders of code reviews in magic libraries, and the perils of premature optimization.

For more information, including links to online stores, visit the books page. Or

Nook, iBooks, and Google Play coming soon.

Q: Is this a print copy of your blog? Why should I buy the book?
A: Best Practices of Spell Design consists of almost all new content. A few related blog posts have been included (after significant professional editing).

Q: Is the format of Best Practices in Spell Design the same as Computational Fairy Tales?
A:The format is similar, but not identical. Instead of individual stories with introductory technical blurbs, Best Practices of Spell design is written as a novella. Each chapter of the story introduces, explains, or reinforces a concept.

Q: What is the target audience for this book?
A: Best Practices of Spell Design is written for people who are just starting to program or have some programming experience. The book does not teach programming, but rather reinforces important programming best practices that are often learned through (painful) experience.

Also see Who is the Target Audience? for more details on the audience for Computational Fairy Tales stories.