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October Magazine: Scala, distributed agile, lightsabers, rubber bands, and a macaroni box

October 05, 2011

October is here, and so is the latest issue of the Pragmatic Programmer magazine, PragPub. Jump in and see what’s up with Scala, distributed agile, lightsabers, rubber bands, and even a macaroni box. Now available, free to read and share from

Read on for more information on upcoming Rails and iOS Studios this fall.

Head’s up: November will once again feature PragproWriMo. Time to start getting ready! More info in this month’s magazine.

PragPub October 2011

Software development is invention. So classic stories of inventors and their inventions can be inspiring and relevant to your own work.

In this month’s PragPub, Dan Wohlbruck recounts how Dorr Felt prototyped the first adding machine in 1884 using a macaroni box, meat skewers, rubber bands, and string. It’s a good reminder that the tools you use to explore an idea don’t have to be the tools you use to execute the idea.

Of course, Thomas Edison said that invention was one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. If software development is invention, testing may be the perspiration part. Automated testing seeks to reduce some of the sweatwork, but testing is an inherently heuristic activity. This month Adam Goucher reflects on some useful heuristics for automated testing-plus a few anti-heuristics-including Lightsabers, Time Machines, the One Ring, and The Second Noble Truth.

Another area where some heuristics would come in handy is the tricky business of working with others-especially newbies-on development projects. Sometimes you wish there were a handbook you could give the newbies on how to get along in an open source community. Jeff Cohen decided to take a stab at writing that handbook, and shares the result in this issue.

Those community challenges get really knotty when team members have different cultural norms, native languages, and time zones. Tim Ottinger and Jeff Langr offer up some straight talk on distributed computing.

Plus, Venkat Subramaniam continues his series on the Scala language, and in the latest installment of our series of staff profiles, you get to meet another member of our team. It’s a packed issue.

Now available, free to read and share from, in PDF, mobi, epub, and HTML format.

Rails and iOS Studios This Fall

The Pragmatic Studio is offering two courses this fall to help you level up your skills:

  • Our Ruby on Rails Studio will be held in Reston, VA on November 9-11. This course has been redesigned so you can now learn Ruby on Rails using the latest 3.1 version. If you or your team is new to Rails, this 3-day course will get you started on the right foot. You’ll gain hands-on experience with Rails during the course, and return to your project ready to build your own Rails apps! See all the details and register early to save money at
  • Our iPhone Programming Studio will be held in Reston, VA on Nov 29 – Dec 2. With Apple’s release of Xcode 4 this spring and iOS 5 coming this fall, now is a great time to learn iOS development. You’ll come away from this course ready to create your first iPhone/iPad app, or improve your existing app. Throughout the four days you’ll build 10 example apps to boost your confidence and gain valuable hands-on experience. See all the details and register early to save money at

If you have a large team of developers (roughly 10 or more) who need to get up to speed on Rails or iOS, perhaps you’ll consider scheduling a private course on-site at your location. Details at

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Coming Soon:

  • Rails Recipes: Rails 3 Edition
  • Programming Node.js
  • Programming Your Home
  • The Developer’s Code

Recently Released:

  • Cutting an Agile Groove [video]
  • Technical Blogging [in beta]
  • Programming Clojure, 2nd Ed [in beta]
  • Programming Concurrency on the JVM [in print]
  • Thanks for your continued support,

    Andy & Dave

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