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Exercises for Programmers, Mob Programming, Modern Perl and more...

August 05, 2015

When you write software, you need to be at the top of your game. You need to practice and hone your skills, and stay on top of the latest techniques. We've got you covered.

Brian Hogan's Exercises for Programmers: 57 Challenges to Develop Your Coding Skills is now available from Get a copy today, and get cracking.

And for the very latest trends including Mob Programming, Modern Perl, and Swift, check out this month’s PragPub magazine, now available from

Exercises for Programmers: 57 Challenges to Develop Your Coding Skills

One of the best ways to learn a programming language is to use it to solve problems. That's what this book is all about. Instead of questions rooted in theory, this book presents problems you'll encounter in everyday software development. These problems are designed for people learning their first programming language, and they also provide a learning path for experienced developers to learn a new language quickly.

Start with simple input and output programs. Do some currency conversion and figure out how many months it takes to pay off a credit card. Calculate blood alcohol content and determine if it's safe to drive. Replace words in files and filter records, and use web services to display the weather, store data, and show how many people are in space right now. At the end you'll tackle a few larger programs that will help you bring everything together.

Each problem includes constraints and challenges to push you further, but it's up to you to come up with the solutions. And next year, when you want to learn a new programming language or style of programming (perhaps OOP vs. functional), you can work through this book again, using new approaches to solve familiar problems.

Now available in beta from

August PragPub Magazine

Woody Zuill knows a lot about Mob Programming. He characterizes it as “all the brilliant people working at the same time, in the same space, at the same computer, on the same thing.” If you’re not familiar with the technique, it probably sounds extreme. In fact, if you’re comfortable with Extreme Programming, Mob Programming might still sound extreme. The whole team working together on one task on one computer? How could that possibly work?

Woody is going to tell you how, in detail, in this month’s PragPub. And he’s going to convince you to give it a try. Just watch.

This month’s PragPub also features the second installment of our series on teaching kids to code, written by Jim Bonang and filled with insight and case-study experience. Jim found himself thrown into an intense teaching situation, and drew inspiration and guidance from a variety of sources, including a special issue of PragPub on teaching kids to code.

If you think Modern Perl is an oxymoron, you haven’t been keeping up with the developments in this Swiss Army knife of a language. The fourth edition of the classic Modern Perl is coming out soon, and its author, chromatic, took time out from wrapping it up to write an article for us on what Perl still gets right. Spoiler alert: it gets a lot right.

And there’s more. This month’s installment in our series on functional programming in Swift focuses on wrapper types. Rothman and Lester often write about how to get hired for the right job, but this month they flip the script and discuss how to write a job ad that will get you the right candidates. Marcus Blankenship also challenges expectations as he explains why managing by walking around is no substitute for old-school weekly meetings. And John Shade has some thoughts on ad blockers. And of course there’s our monthly puzzle, a mashup of a Sudoku and an anagram, as well as Antonio Cangiano’s list of new tech books. We hope you enjoy the issue.

Now available from

Upcoming Author Appearances

  • 2015-08-11 Chris Johnson, That Conference
  • 2015-08-16 Janie Clayton, 360|iDev; Denver, CO
  • 2015-08-19 Andrew Hunt, Triangle DevOps
  • 2015-09-08 Adam Tornhill, Swanseacon, Swansea, Wales, UK
  • 2015-09-09 Johanna Rothman, SQGNE
  • 2015-09-17 Chris Adamson, CocoaConf Boston
  • 2015-09-18 Chris Adamson, CocoaConf Boston
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    Coming Soon:

    • Beyond Legacy Code: Nine Practices to Extend the Life (and Value) of Your Software in print
    • Elm: Building Reactive Web Apps

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