Verity Stob, the pseudonymous columnist who has made a career out of poking fun at her fellow programmers, has eschewed the dead tree world of print journalism to join The Register. Starting this month, we will be carrying her column on our server.
Stob first appeared as long ago as 1988 in the back of .EXE Magazine, a technical rag for programmers. Early subjects included the industry practice of forcing programmers through code walkthroughs and an unusual programming language called GEORDIE.
Ms Stob's column remained a popular feature of the magazine throughout the 1990s, although not necessarily with Visual Basic programmers. But in 2000 the cold economic winds of the dotcom bubble forced EXE out of business. The US title Dr Dobb's Journal came to the rescue, giving Verity a new home and a new audience for her wit. It was for DDJ that she wrote her much-cited and -pirated paper on 'cruft', describing the characteristics of decay in computer systems.
Despite being well paid, and having her lax view of deadlines tolerated, Ms Stob felt that her work was never quite at home with a US title. "They were terribly kind, but I always felt that they were on the point of asking me what the joke was." She started writing the occasional snippets and articles for the Reg, including an obituary for programming legend Edsger Dijkstra, and a sequence of articles purporting to be an interview with a spammer.
"It's a great honour to be working full time for The Reg," says Ms Stob. "I've always wanted to contribute to a really down-to-the-metal, ultra-technical website. One that never holds back the details of in circuit voltages, or of template template parameters in particularly obscure bits of C++. I can't wait to get started."
Ermm, thank you very much, Verity. I'm sure we'll love you too.®