From Alphadoku to Alignment

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but as usual I couldn’t find the time to write the full story. So I won’t but at least I’ll give the highlights! It just struck me as an interesting example of how connections yield, well connections, and potentially results.

A long time ago, I’d been thinking about writing a book about how to do IT right. Not that I had all the answers, but on my travels I’ve met plenty of people who have suitably inspired me, and I wanted to distil their collective knowledge in some way. I even started writing bits of it, but it never really reached critical mass.

Meanwhile… one day I was feeling a bit sneaky. Sudoku was growing in popularity, and I realised it was only a matter of time before people brought out bigger versions. How about an alphabetic version, I thought, a 25×25 grid based on letters? It could be called – alphadoku! A quick check revealed that the web site was free, so I, ahem, purchased it.

Almost immediately I felt guilty – how could I sit on a web site without doing something useful? So, I set about producing one of said puzzles. A little while later, it was done – and I posted it up. One day, I thought, I would get round to writing code that could autogenerate alphadoku puzzles (note: started, but never finished – yet!)

So, I left things as they stood.

A goodly handful of months later, I got a phone cal from Wiley, the “for dummies” publishers. Was I interested in writing an “Alphadoku for Dummies”? Yes of course, I said. Unfortunately, Wiley went away to think about it some more, but when they came back they had decided the market was probably no longer in the ascendant – which may have been a good job considering my coding skills.

However, I did ask – “while you’re there, I’ve been thinking about this technology book – interested?” Perhaps out of their guilt this time, I was put in touch with the right people. Almost immediately I realised how crap the book would be if it was just from me – by no coincidence, I was at the time working with the guys at MWD, whose opinions I valued (and continue to value) enormously, as well as those of my past and present colleague Dale Vile. So, I proposed we jointly wrote the thing, and for better or worse, everyone agreed.

So, from registering a Web site, we have a book – “The Technology Garden“. I thoroughly recommend it of course, and it wouldn’t be a quarter of what it is without being a team effort between the four of us. Still, ain’t it interesting what unexpected acorns can grow into?

From Alphadoku to Alignment

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