I grew up as a software developer on a steady diet of Dr Dobb’s magazines. I was hooked the first time I came across an issue of the magazine as a student in the university library and for most of my career I have been a subscriber to it, until the print magazine was cancelled. I was sad to read this morning that after 38 years of publication, first in print and then on the web, the online edition has now met the same fate.
I probably learned more about real world software development from reading articles in the magazine than the courses I took at university. Heck, even if the articles initially completely went over my head, I learned from them. I remember reading the series of articles about 386BSD and being strangely fascinated by them, even though I had at that time trouble understanding parts of it. In a strange “what comes around goes around” fashion, I’ve been using FreeBSD – which is a direct descendant of 386BSD – for almost 20 years now.
If Dr Dobb’s hadn’t opened my eyes to the strange and wonderful world of software development with all its facets, I doubt I’d be where I am today, still fascinated by computers and programming, and occasionally still infuriated by both.
RIP, Dr Dobb’s. Thanks for the ride.
Image of the title page of the first issue courtesy of Wikipedia.