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Pragmatic Thinking and Learning; more iPhone and Erlang


It’s a busy month already here in Pragmatic Land, and we’ve got a lot of neat stuff to share with you. Pragmatic Thinking and Learning is now back from the printers and shipping.
We’re pleased to announce our latest screencast series, Writing Your First iPhone Application, and the Erlang in Practice series wraps up with its final episode.

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Pragmatic Thinking and Learning now in Print

You are used to working with software and hardware, but what about working with wetware—your own brain?

Whether you’re a programmer, manager, knowledge worker, technogeek, or deep thinker, or if you just happen to have a human brain you’d like to crank up, Pragmatic Thinking and Learning will help with real understanding and effective techniques. These aren’t simple party tricks or lame ways to memorize lists of numbers. With this book, you can refactor your “wetware”—redesign and rewire
your brain—to make you more effective at your job.

In this book by Pragmatic cofounder Andy Hunt, you’ll learn how our brains are wired, and how to take advantage of your brain’s architecture. You’ll learn new tricks and tips to learn more, faster, and retain more of what you learn.

Andy says, “From our original The Pragmatic Programmer through Practices of an Agile Developer, I’ve always tried to help find ways to make developers’ lives easier. That’s why we started the Pragmatic Bookshelf. In Pragmatic Thinking and Learning, I’ve accumulated ideas from a wide variety of sources and disciplines to help get at the root of the problem: better ways of approaching thinking and learning. Technology will always come and go, but this is the stuff that really makes a difference.”

Programmers in particular have to learn constantly; not just the stereotypical new technologies, but also the problem domain of the application, the whims of the user community, the quirks of your teammates, the shifting sands of the industry, and the evolving characteristics of the project itself as it is built.

In this book you’ll find a lot to think about, including bits of cognitive and neuroscience, learning and behavioral theory. You’ll see some surprising aspects of how our brains work, and how you can take advantage of the system to improve your own learning and thinking skills.

Writing Your First iPhone Application

Now that the iPhone 2.1 SDK has officially been released and the Apple App Store is open for business, it’s time to write killer mobile applications! To do that, you’ll need to use several powerful (and possibly unfamiliar) tools: Xcode, Interface Builder, Objective-C, and then the iPhone SDK itself. It can all be a little overwhelming at first. So how do you get started on the right foot?

Well, the good news is you don’t have to go it alone. Let Bill Dudney, an experienced iPhone developer, show you how to write your first iPhone application in these screencasts. Building iPhone applications is a visual process, and screencasts are a great way to shoulder-surf with an expert. You’ll learn his workflow, his development techniques, and the tricks of the trade.

Be sure and check out the free episode, Getting Started with Xcode and Interface Builder to get off on the right foot.

Episode 8: OTP Supervisor and Application Behaviors

In this final episode of Erlang in Practice, we’ll focus on two mechanisms that OTP provides to manage the lifecycle of processes in an application: supervisor and application behaviors. We’ll write a Web Supervisor and a Messaging Supervisor to manage those subsystems, and then layer another meta-supervisor on top to manage the entire chat system. You’ll learn how to:

  • implement an OTP Supervisor behavior to start, stop, and monitor worker processes
  • write child process specifications
  • handle messages sent from monitored processes
  • nest supervisors into hierarchies of supervision for better process management
  • implement an OTP Application behavior to easily start-up and gracefully shutdown an entire application
  • refactor existing code to be supervisor-friendly
  • a trick for starting Erlang systems from shell scripts, such as Unix initscripts

Coming Soon:

Recently Released:

Thanks for your continued support,

Andy & Dave