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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

JavaScript book next?

While I'm writing the next revision of my Python book, I'm curious what people would like to see after, or instead of, this revision. What language would you like me to cover?

I'm figuring JavaScript will be a popular choice, as it ties in so well with the web-centric design philosophy, as well as most mobile apps. But other languages may be popular, depending on the field.

Therefore, I've put a poll on the side with the top 5, currently popular programming languages. Please let me know what you would like me to write about next. The poll will be open until the middle of October, which should be plenty of time to cast your vote. If you choose "Other" as your vote, please post in the comments what language you would like me to write about.

There are two caveats to this, however. First, if there aren't a sufficient number of votes cast, then I won't bother covering a different language. Which leads to the second caveat: I will have to learn the language to write about it. Thus, without the incentive to learn a new language (I'm not a programmer by trade), I won't bother learning it well enough to write a new book series.

I don't know how many votes will be sufficient to make me learn a new language, but I figure it will have to be several thousand. This site gets approximately 2,000 visitors per month, so if everyone casts a vote, that would be nice (of course, if everyone made a donation when they voted, that would definitely be an incentive to learn the language and get the book to market quickly).

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Edition in the Works

It's been quite some time since I posted on here. Since the last post, I've come to realize that my dreams of getting Certified Python Programmer isn't going to happen anytime soon. The cost is just too much right now, especially as I will be retiring from the military next year and I'm starting a consulting business.

However, that doesn't mean I've given up on Python, nor have I stopped writing. There have been a number of changes in the Python world since the last edition, most notably the use of Python3. So, I'm now in the process of revising my book again, incorporating some of the language changes and highlighting new libraries and modules that have been developed.

In addition, with the focus on web pages nowadays, I'd like to expand the chapter on web development. There are also a few, more advanced things I've been asked about, so I'm thinking of expanding the scope of the book.

At the same time, there are some changes that need to be made to the book. Nothing significant (I'm not planning on re-writing the thing from scratch), but hopefully enough to answer some of the questions and observations people have identified.

If you have any suggestions or requests for the next edition, please let me know in the comments.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Change in downloading terms

While I know I can't stop anyone from doing it, I would like to note the stipulation on the free PDF version of the book on the navbar. This free PDF is intended for personal use only and is not intended for use by large groups or  organizations.

If multiple people will be using the book, e.g. for a class, I ask that the organization or group please purchase individual copies. If you would like multiple PDF files, please use the Smashwords link.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Certified Python Programmer

One of the problems for programmers is that there are few certifications available. While being certified as a programmer isn't necessarily required (your coding skills can be demonstrated easily enough, especially if you keep a portfolio of completed projects), in this day-and-age, many people expect certifications.

The good news is that O'Reilly Publishing has started a certification program for programmers and other tech-related skills. The bad news is that it is pretty expensive and time consuming: $2000 and 360 hours.

However, at the end of the course you will have learned pretty much everything there is to know about Python: database interaction, large-scale web apps, debugging, optimization, multi-threading, etc. My goal is to complete this certification and use my new knowledge to write the third revision of my book.