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New Year, New Jam-Packed PragPub Issue

January 07, 2015

Happy New Year! On this day in 1610, Galileo Galilei first spotted the four Galilean moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Io, and Europa.

Are you looking for a new discovery this year as well? Have you picked a new language to learn this year? Or working on strategic career moves? Jump into this new issue of PragPub with both feet and start the year off with a bang.

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January PragPub

It's January. Have you decided what new programming language you're going to learn this year?

As you no doubt know, in The Pragmatic Programmer, Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas encouraged us all to learn a new programming language every year. Good for your resume, good for your skillset, good for your brain. So what language will it be?

You might consider Elixir, a new, dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications. Bruce Tate considered it. In fact, he liked it so much that his business,, began a year-long transition from Ruby on Rails to Elixir. This month in PragPub, in the first of two articles, he shares some of what he has learned about this language.

If you develop mobile apps you have probably already started learning the ins and outs of Apple's Swift language. But are you just using it the way you used Objective-C? Because Swift offers the opportunity to dig into the functional programming paradigm.

It just so happens that we're launching a new series on functional programming in Swift in this issue of PragPub. Every month, Chris Eidhof, Wouter Swierstra, and Florian Kugler of will share a snippet of Swift code that reveals a functional programming technique and its implementation in Swift.

Last month we introduced the Resource Oriented Computing paradigm with three articles. This month Tom Geudens follows up with a fourth, showing what can be gained by rethinking APIs as resources


But wait, there's more!

In addition to coding articles, we like to offer you useful advice on the kinds of non-programming issues that go along with a career in software development. This month Johanna Rothman and Andy Lester advise you on what not to say in a job interview and Marcus Blankenship shares tips on managing up.

Dan Wohlbruck's series on the history of programming languages ended last month, but we have some history to share with you this month, as we start a series of excerpts from the third edition of Fire in the Valley, the seminal history of the personal computer, written by a couple of guys who were pretty much there at the beginning.

Which reminds us, we have to slip in a shout-out to another writer who was there at the beginning. Legendary science fiction writer, Byte magazine columnist, and polymath curmudgeon Jerry Pournelle suffered a small stroke recently, and we're thrilled to report that he's back in action and on line, just as cantankerous and irreplacable as ever.

As for our own resident curmudgeon, John Shade, he shares his thoughts this month on the sorry state of artificial intelligence, dumb drivers, and self-driving cars.

Speaking of dumb drivers, you may possibly see the beer-carrying robot on our cover as an example of bad robot behavior and evidence that Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics need an added clause about drinking and driving. But we saw the little guy as the modern version of the legendary alcohol-delivering Saint Bernard. Anyway, we thought he was cute.

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Upcoming Author Appearances

  • 2015-01-15 Johanna Rothman,
    Why Project Management is Broken and 3 Ways to Fix It
  • 2015-01-27 Johanna Rothman,
    Geographically Distributed Agile Teams Webinar
  • 2015-01-28 Rachel Davies,
    OOP conference, Munich, Germany
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    Coming Soon:

    • Rails 4 Test Prescriptions in print
    • The VimL Primer
    • Arduino: A Quick Start Guide, Second Edition
    • Hello, Android, Fourth Edition
    • Metaprogramming Elixir

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