I’ve never written fiction before, but if I did, I imagine I’d start at chapter one and work straight through to the end. Something interesting about hwtsam, is that it was written out of order. This practice is common in movies and television, and is done to make the best use of actors time and location changes – i.e. it’s an optimization.
In the case of hwtsam, I suppose it was an optimization as well – but mostly an optimization of my brain as I always wrote whatever chapter I felt I could do the best job on at the current moment – the order was almost sequential, but not quite.
The first chapter I wrote – the first words I wrote while I was still in the “what did I get myself into” stage was chapter 4 (test design). I knew that Ken was going to write chapter 1 & 2, and at the time I had him penciled in for chapter 3 as well, so chapter 4 was going to be the first chapter with my name on it. At the time, I also had a hunch that Bj would write chapters 5 & 6, so my “second” chapter was chapter 7 (code complexity).
When I finished chapter 7, I wrote a few paragraphs of chapter 8 (Model-Based testing), but didn’t like where it was heading, so Chapters 9 (Bug and test case management) and chapter 10 (Test Automation) followed. It was about this time that we figured out that Ken was going to write chapter 14 – at the time, my schedule was a little hectic, so we tentatively planned on having Ken write chapter 13 (customer feedback systems) as well. Meanwhile, I wrote chapter 12 (Tools), then chapter 11 (non-functional testing).
Last May – in the week before and after Memorial day (US holiday), I took vacation time to stay with my parents for a few weeks. It was nice to spend some time with my parents, but the purpose of the visit was to get caught up on my missed deadlines. In that one two week span I wrote chapters 13, 15, & 16. Over the summer, I wrote chapter 3 (engineering systems), and finally got to chapter 8 (the model-based testing chapter I had been putting off).
Chapter 8 was the most difficult chapter for me to write (I wrote 3 completely different versions before coming up with the final version), and also my favorite chapter from the book (I really don’t know why). meanwhile, Ken and Bj finished up their parts, and the rest, of course, is history.
I realize that this map of the book is confusing – if you’d like to see how it ended up in order, this post has the full table of contents.