a companion discussion area for blog.codinghorror.com

Choosing Your Own Adventure


Too bad you can’t cheat like with the books and just keep flipping back whenever you find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be :wink:



Dang, I’d forgotten about those books.

I got kinda disenchanted with them when I picked the most sensible option on one page and ended up dead.

But I was already coding at the time, and it got me thinking a lot about the differnces in the two media. For one thing, the stories were dissapointingly short, even though the books themselves were normal-sized. This graphicly shows how much more work it is to provide interactive content than non-interactive.

As for the career change, I’ll join the chorus and wish you luck. It might not work out, but when you’re old and gray you’d be more upset with yourself for not having tried than you would for having tried and failed.


Congratulations on your new choice. Looking at job decisions as a “Choose your own adventure” seems practical.
I myself am at the stage where you stare at the page, with the two decissions on my mind…
I think I too, will choose for change.
It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!


Actually, I like computer games of this style more.

In real life, the life is seldom changed just by single decision. Some of the choices may have no immediate effect, but have effects later in your life. Computer games can easily keep track of these, but in books, once the storyline merges, it’ll become a single line. There’s no hidden option(s) that opens if you’ve done something before, and makes it less entertaining. :stuck_out_tongue:



I don’t want to throw water on this–It seems that you have made your decision and I hope your employment shift turns out wonderfully. So I hope that your description of your Vertigo job was a bit exaggerated. You said,

“You have landed your dream job as a technical evangelist for Vertigo Software. It is by far the best job you’ve ever had. Every day is fun. You’ve become close friends with your coworkers, who are all as passionate about software development as you are.” If it is your dream job and by far the best job you’ve ever had, why would you leave for anything less than the monarchy of the United Kingdom?


I’m not the biggest of bloggers, but I’ll make an exception here.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jeff over the past 2 years or so while at Vertigo and probably the one thing that I’ve taken away from that is how “real” he is. Jeff is probably one of the most genuine, down to earth people that I have worked with and it’s been excellent having him around to help out and bounce ideas off.

Jeff, I wish you nothing but the best of luck in your new venture!


Adding another voice to the choir Jeff; Best of luck - I can always appreciate courage, and leaving comfortable surrounds for the unknown is brave in my book.

Man I loved those books, too. It does seem to be quite common in programmers, you’re probably on to something.


Jeff, I hope your new opportunity involves authorship because you’re a pleasure to read. Best of luck, keep writing – code and otherwise.


Congratulations and best of luck! I started an ISP back in 1994, and in the end made next to no money on my original investment - didn’t sell out in the boom years when we should have - but the experience and understanding I gained from it made it entirely worthwhile.

If you make a fortune, great! If you make a living, great! If you end up with deeper self-understanding, better still.

“It’s a magical world, Hobbes ol’ buddy. Let’s go exploring!”


Heh, just added your blog RSS to my iGoogle two days ago, and now you turn pro. The coincidence!


Good luck, Jeff!

To respond to the first part of your post, a colleague of mine has just launched a website that is in the same vein as the Choose Your Own Adventure books. It’s called protagonize (www.protagonize.com). Authors login and collaborate on stories, create branches, etc. It’s very cool. Enjoy!


“Failure is not an option.” ~ Gene Kranz

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist when I saw you say failure is always an option )


i guess i better start clicking on your ads so you don’t stumble onto page 16 which is DEATH!


Wow, well done Jeff.

You’re very brave.

It must be hard leaving the bosom of salaried work, but i reckon altogether more satisfying when it works out!

Good Luck!

(Love the blog)


i’ve gone the indy/small biz path, and wish I did it sooner. Only I’m a consultant, and would love to have the opportunity you have with blogging and the small, secret project. I’m sure it will work out well, and you’ll land on your feet no matter what. just don’t ever quit this blog!

good luck.


I too, feel it necessary to wish you a heart-felt good luck. That certainly is a brave decision and I look forward to hearing about your new endeavor.


Good luck Jeff!

Case in point, sometimes I’d get stuck in my business and it would be great to work on something else until I figure out the solution but once you quit your job there isn’t anything else you can do. What I mean to say is that your business productivity doesn’t necessarily go way up just because you quit your job (though it’s fun doing away with the distractions).


Who cares one more GOOD LUCK to you: Jeff.


Who want’s to play the Lottery when you can have more fantastic results in real life decisions!

Visit our life choice - Music creation vs. Engineering at:

Now Mom supports the family while Dad develops Music for media.


I can totally relate to the whole ‘I want to build something’ itch! Hope the startup lifestyle doesn’t cut into Coding Horror. It’s a lot harder to blog regularly when the ‘other thing’ demands your attention (or at least that’s my excuse).

Hope to see you around at some random MSFT events!