A magazine about programmers, code, and society. Written by humans since 2018.


Jenifer Tidwell

If there is one thing that computer books are most definitely not usually praised for, it is their visuals. Thankfully, books about user experience and user interface design are usually, indeed, worthy of such acclaim. In this case, however, limiting a review to such criteria would be short-sighted, poor, and unjust. The truth is that most important literature works are multi-layered, profound, and suitable for multiple relectures.

The Three Amigos, Among Others

This month, the methodology issue, is a good opportunity to take a look across a whole swathe of my bookshelf and deal with it all at once. The important point to bear in mind is that methodology is about the approach you take to building software. That means how you decide what to build, plan it out, design it, implement it, test it, deploy it, document it, and manage (and even pay for) all of that. The 1990s was the decade when object-oriented techniques hit the mainstream: it was also the time of the methodology wars.

Robert L. Glass

Robert L. Glass wrote a book in 1998 called "Software 2020", currently rated with only one star… by the author himself. In his review (written in 2017) he justifies this abysmal record because of a simple observation: none of the predictions in the book turned out to become a reality.

Microsoft's Writings On Security

Yes, you read that correctly. Microsoft. Writing on information security. They may be the software company who have done the most writing on information security, including many security software companies.

Douglas Crockford

O'Reilly published in 2020 the seventh edition of one of the biggest bestseller programming books of the past 25 years, Flanagan's "JavaScript: The Definitive Guide". At 700 pages and weighing 1.2 kg, it is a book that easily stands out in any good programmer's library. Many developers have used such information to joke about the fact that the good parts of JavaScript, as catalogued by Crockford in his eponymous 2008 book, is merely 180 pages long, and weights only 290 grams; that is, only 25% of JavaScript is actually any good.

Tim Peters

Not everything that is worth reading is a book. A good programmer's library (I will let you decide whether that is a good library owned by a programmer, or a library belonging to a good programmer) includes essays, scholarly articles, videos, magazines, blog posts, podcast episodes, and more. This month, we are going to read an Easter egg in a programming language.

Chad Fowler

There was a time when I advertised my services as "Ruby on Rails" programmer. It was by that time that I got to learn the names and work of many people in that field; many of whom had come from the J2EE world, were tired of configuring everything in XML files, and preferred to use… YAML files instead. OK, I am being sarcastic here. Ruby on Rails was truly revolutionary when it appeared.

Camille Fournier

As soon as Adrian and I agreed that Management would be the topic of this issue, I knew that I would share the benefits of Camille Fournier's book, The Manager's Path. It is the most succinct introduction to software engineering management for both managers and the managed out there.

Eric Sink

Once upon a time, there was no GitHub, no iPhone, no AWS, no Android, no Google App Engine, no Stack Overflow, no Docker, no Kubernetes, no Rust, no Go, no Swift, no Kotlin, no Git, actually Subversion was barely starting to appear in the radar. Most importantly, there were no App Store yet.

Jef Raskin

It is a fairly well-known, but perhaps not broadly appreciated, fact that Apple's Macintosh could have been a very different computer. Sometimes known as the father of the Mac, sometimes as its eccentric uncle, the project was originally under the direction of computer scientist Jef Raskin. He managed to avoid Steve Jobs's ire for a while by not telling Jobs about the project, but after the Lisa failed and with Woz recovering from a plane crash, Steve needed something to do and checked in on what the former director of the documentation group was up to.

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