Spotlight: Brian Hogan (Author)

A Hero’s Journey
with Brian P. Hogan


Brian P. Hogan, author of Build Websites with Hugo, discusses his journey to becoming a Pragmatic Bookshelf author.


Listen to the complete audio interview here:


We’re giving away one of Brian’s books to one lucky winner! Simply post a comment or a question in his AMA below, and the Devtalk bot will randomly pick a winner at a time of the author’s choosing … then automatically update this thread with the results!


For those who prefer to read rather than listen, the following are highlights from the interview.

Brian Hogan is a software developer, teacher, author, editor, and musician. Since 1995, Brian’s been building websites and web applications using a variety of tools and technology.

But Brian’s journey didn’t stop with web development. He’s been working as a freelance developer for small businesses and has helped countless developers through lectures, mentoring, and of course, books—including Small, Sharp Software Tools, Exercises for Programmers, tmux 2: Productive Mouse-Free Development, and several others for The Pragmatic Bookshelf.

On this episode, Brian talks about his journey to becoming a pragmatic author and what he’s learned along the way. He also spills the beans on what makes for a great bio and how to showcase who you are and what you do.

Listen to the rest of Brian’s story on this episode of the Pragmatic Hero’s Journey podcast.

You can stream the episode here: or subscribe to the RSS feed using the following link:

Now that you know his story, check out Brian’s books below!

PragProg Books by Brian P. Hogan

Follow Brian on Twitter at

Check out what Brian is writing about on Medium:
Command Line Blocks in Hugo

Dont forget! You can get 35% off Brian’s books with the coupon code!



We’re now opening up the thread for your questions! Ask Brian anything! Please keep it clean and don’t forget by participating you automatically enter the competition to win one of her ebooks!


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Wow! Brian Hogan has some nice books at Pragmatic Bookshelf. I remember reading part of Exercises for Programmers at Oreilly Online (learning.oreilly) and liking it a lot.


@DevotionGeo Thanks for the kind note. I’m really proud of Exercises for Programmers. The first 40 or so of those projects are challenges I gave my class in their first semester programming course I used to teach. I find them great for getting up to speed on a new language too.


You’re welcome! :slight_smile:
I loved those exercises back then, and I’ll read that book again and will redo those challenges in Erlang and Rust. I also hope to read more of your books like Small, Sharp Software Tools.


I haven’t had time to listen to the interview yet but just wanted to say it’s great to see Brian is still active within the dev community - he was one of the names I often saw crop up in things like Twitter discussions (with Rails folk like DHH) and a decade later he’s still here writing and editing? :003:

So my question is, what have been your favourite moments or pieces of tech in the dev space over that time :blush:


@AstonJ :blush:

I’ve enjoyed seeing Elixir take off. I’ve also really enjoyed containers. Setting up a Rails environment can be difficult, and I really like the ability to spin up Redis and Postgres in containers instead of going through all the install steps, managing user permissions, all that.

You didn’t ask, but I will say that one of the things that’s frustrated me is the increasing complexity in front-end land. I love web development, but I hope we can spend more time as a community working to simplify the tooling around this. I think tooling like esbuild will help here, but we need more. Lots of moving parts in that space, and it reminds me of what Java looked like in 2005.


I think a lot of people will agree with you there Brian - me included! :lol:

For me, on the one hand I love things like Phoenix LiveView, and on the other, I love the power of WASM - they’re both very exciting and LV is definitely going to be the easier, quicker option. There are other exciting things happening in the BEAM world too, for instance gleam now compiles to JS. I look forward to seeing how it all pans out :003: