I first heard about PeepCode sometime last spring. At the time I must admit I was not too keen on Ruby. Times have changed. I discovered for myself why Ruby (particularly Rails) is so cool this past summer. Recently, I actually went out to the PeepCode site and took a look at a few of their samples, then ultimately paid for a few tutorials. These guys do a nice job. This method of presenting tutorials on programming is probably the best I’ve encountered. The only way to learn faster would be to sit next to an expert and peek over their shoulder while they write code. I like this methodology so much that I’m working on using similar techniques in the introductory C# class I’m teaching this semester. Even if you are not interested in Ruby or Rails you should give this a look as it is a nice preview of the future of learning to program.
The what? Well it’s a book, or is it a lifestyle. Either way, I debated on whether or not I should post on this, since I’m not sure what it has to do with computers but I digress. Basically, it all starts about six months ago. My wife (then fiance) and I decided that we would quit smoking after we got married in December. We both agreed that it was the best decision for both our health and our wallets. So January 7th we arrived back in Phoenix from our honeymoon, with only the cigarettes in our pockets. When they were gone we quit.
I mentioned Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences a few posts ago. I just finished reading the book this weekend so I thought I’d give my final impression of it.
I just took a look around my work area to see what the most useful thing has been over the past week. It has been a rather long week since I’ve been studying for an exam. There is nothing I hate worse than exams. They are the least practical way to evaluate real knowledge that I can think of, but that is another story. What I found to be most useful is How to Prove It: A Structured Approach, a book that does a good job of presenting a very important skill for anyone working toward a degree in Computer Science (or math I imagine). I really wish I had known about this when I was getting my Bachelor’s degree. It would have helped a great deal with the “introductory” courses in discrete math, computer science theory, and graph theory.
If I could only recommend one book that every software engineer must read it would NOT be The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master, but to be fair I’m not sure what it would be. I will say that when you graduate with a B.S. in Computer Science your university should send you a copy of this book.
As a method of rating different items that I post reviews for I will use beers. Basically, I’ll relate the quality or enjoyment of the item to the equivalent enjoyment in beers. The scale will go from -5 beers being something that was really unenjoyable or of very low quality, to 5 beers being something that was very enjoyable, high quality, or simply something I can’t live without.