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Scala, the FIRST approach to unit tests, and a breakthrough product from forty years ago.

In this first issue of 2012, we’d like to make some introductions.

Meet David Hussman, widely known as “The Dude,” who teaches and coaches agility in companies of all sizes, working side by side with designers, developers, tester, leaders, and others. David’s video series Cutting an Agile Groove is a different sort of product from the Pragmatic Bookshelf, and we invited David to chat about his experiences.

Also meet Brian Hogan, writer, editor, software developer. Brian has geen gracious enough to submit to the latest of our Staff Profiles, designed to eventually introduce you to everyone in the bullpen here in Pragville.

Recently, Tim Ottinger and Brett Schuchert devised a concise set of criteria for making unit tests effective. In their latest agile feature, Tim and Jeff Langr explain the mnemonic for these criteria, an overloaded acronym whose very name answers the important question of when to write tests.

Venkat Subramaniam is back with another installment of his series on the Scala language. Dan Wohlbruck highlights another moment in the history of technology. And John Shade tells you things you already know.

But wait, there’s more. We haven’t published a puzzle in a while, so this month we’re offering up a Sudoku puzzle with a twist—it uses letters instead of digits, and hidden within it is a name that any computer scientist should be familiar with.

We hope you enjoy the issue, and that your 2012 is a good one.