January 01, 2014

Ah, January 1. Starting the New Year every year since 1752.

How are those New Year's Resolutions coming along? Time to get started reading! First up, the January issue of PragPub magazine is out. If you don't have a subscription yet, you can subscribe to PragPub or buy the January issue at http://theprosegarden.com or in the Apple App Store or Google Play (just look for PragPub).

Next, check out our New Year's recomendations below to help get 2014 off to a great start.

Hear we go.

January PragPub Magazine

The January issue of PragPub is full of goodies.

As revealed in our Top-11 list, the best-selling Pragmatic Bookshelf book for this past month was Andy Hunt’s Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins. Antonio Cangiano, in his new books column in this issue, highlights Warren Sande’s Hello World!: Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners as particularly worthy of your attention. Also in this issue, David Bock reports on his experiences in teaching kids to code during the Computer Science Education Week Hour of Code program.

Do you think we’re trying to tell you something?

We are. We think that the ability to code is a survival skill for the 21st century. And we think that programmers have a unique role to play. Expect to see more articles on teaching kids to code throughout the coming year in PragPub.

Mostly, though, the January issue is about your own programming and your career.

Mike Riley shares a nifty little Android project that exploits an insight into how information processing works inside your head: your ears can multitask. The Android OS can multitask, too, but unfortunately, the text-to-speech apps available for it can’t handle multiple audio streams. So what if you want to get audio notifications while listing to podcasts or having the latest issue of PragPub read to you? Mike Riley to the rescue.

Michael Bevilacqua-Linn continues his series on the Clojure language, this month looking at the ins and outs of EDN. Jeff Cohen has some thoughts on how to use retrospectives in contexts where you might not have thought of applying them. Johanna Rothman and Andy Lester discuss how to land your dream job. And we have David Bock on teaching kids to code, Antonio Cangiano on new tech books, and John Shade on the Bitcoin phenomenon (and on the largest moon of Neptune).

This being January, the magazine does the Janus thing and takes a look back at the early days of personal computing. Thirty-nine years ago this month, that Popular Electronics cover featuring a mock-up of a so-called microcomputer launched the personal computer revolution. It was a strange sort of revolution, coming on the heels of the social revolution of the 1960s.

But the 60s counterculture was only one of the influences on the development of the personal computer. An arguably stronger driving force behind the revolutionary change was simply a passion for fiddling with technology. The personal computer really was the triumph of the nerds. Among whom we count ourselves.

This issue looks at both these threads. It tells the story of a dropout who became an entrepreneur, and when he’d achieved success, dropped out of that and became a political revolutionary. And the issue closes with a brief appreciation of the electronics hobbyists who were crucial to the beginning of the personal computer era.

New Year's Resolutions

Are you ready to take your New Year's Resolutions seriously? Here are our suggestions.

Don't waste your time: make the most of your exercise and diet habits so you can actually see results this year.

Have you embraced functional programming and immutable data yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Get started with Elixir, Scala, or Clojure:

Help get the next generation started with programming, in Java or JavaScript:

And finally, the web drives the world. Get up to speed on the parts you missed and roar ahead of the pack in 2014.

Good luck!

Upcoming Author Appearances

  • 2014-01-08 Chris Adamson, CodeMash 2014
  • 2014-01-09 David Copeland, Codemash
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