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December PragPub Magazine, Conference

December 04, 2019

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Last Issue of PragPub

December 2019 marks the end of the decade-long run of PragPub. Read on for details. Conference

March 24-27, Broomfield, Colorado

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December PragPub Magazine

The December issue of PragPub is now available. It’s a special one.

Charlie Martin is back this month, with an essay on programming that touches on such sensitive subjects as intractable nail fungus, questionable writing advice, bad programming pedagogy, the waterfall model, and why writing programs is less engineering and more writing.

Friend of the Pub Erica Sadun is back, too, and also opinionated. Erica has strong views on the else clause of the if statement. She argues her position powerfully, and it takes nothing away from her argument that she presents it in the form of a case statement. If it weren’t the right tool for the job, then she wouldn’t have used it. (And an else here would be superfluous.)

We actually have two articles by Erica this month. Her second is entirely different: it’s a shared experience with computer hardware, and a case study in taking your tools and their affordances seriously.

Jonathan Rasmusson, who has written for us often over the past decade, has a book out now called Competing with Unicorns, all about his experience working at Spotify. In honor of that, and because it’s such a good article, we’re republishing the article he wrote for us two years ago that inspired the book.

And there’s more: Your editor, Michael Swaine, that’s me, does a riff on the word “is” in programming and writing and impeachment hearings, and John Shade has second thoughts about artificial intelligence. Also, Marcus Blankenship, our long-time columnist who writes about the challenges facing the programmer, gets promoted into a management role. This month he tells you all you need to know about one-on-one meetings. Antonio Cangiano has his usual roundup of tech books, there’s the current list of upcoming events where you can see the Pragmatic Bookshelf authors, and there’s a puzzle.

One more thing: This is the last issue of PragPub. It has been a pleasure working with Andy and the Pragmatic Bookshelf team and authors, and I am enormously grateful to Andy and Dave for giving me this opportunity. But I don’t need to get all maudlin about it, because I’m going to go right on working with these folks, editing books for the Bookshelf. It’s just that after a decade and 126 monthly issues, it’s enough.

I don’t want to lose my connection with the PragPub readers, though. So here are a couple of ways we can keep in touch. The Prose Garden store will remain active, where you can pick up back issues. In particular, I’ll be putting together a back issue bundle of all the 2019 issues before the end of the year that you can pick up there. And who knows, maybe t-shirts.

On a less mercenary note, you can also keep in touch at my blog, Swaine’s World, where I’ll be sharing my thoughts and discoveries and some of the things you read PragPub for, including guest posts from some familiar authors. I look forward to seeing you there.

Until then, I hope you enjoy this December edition of PragPub.

Now available from

Upcoming Author Appearances

  • 2019-12-17 Johanna Rothman,
    Webinar: 8 Principles for Successful Distributed Agile Teams
  • 2020-01-07 Ethan Garofolo,
    CodeMash, Sandusky, OH
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