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Udacity Launches Data Scientist Nanodegree
May 24 | Sue Gee
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Udacity has launched a new Data Scientist Nanodegree program. At an advanced level it has projects designed by Bertelsmann, Figure Eight, IBM Watson, Insight, Kaggle and Starbucks which map to the skills these companies are looking for in data scientists they're hiring. 

Excel Gets JavaScript
May 24 | Mike James
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The latest news is a little, a very little, and very very late. Microsoft has announced that Excel will soon have JavaScript support but only for functions. The spreadsheet is still without a clear way to create scripts.

A Fresh Perspective On Programming Languages From Coursera
May 24 | Lucy Black
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A highly acclaimed course that teaches programming language concepts with an emphasis on functional programming restarts on May 28th. Aimed at those with some programming experience, it is now presented in three short modules that use SML, Racket and Ruby respectively. 

An Exponential Law For AI Compute
May 23 | Sue Gee
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OpenAI has released an analysis showing that since 2012, the amount of compute used in the largest AI training runs has has grown by more than 300,000x. To put it another way, the computer resources used in AI has doubled every 100 days.

NetBeans 9 RC1 Ready to Go
May 23 | Harry Fairhead
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NetBeans seems to have survived its transition from Oracle to Apache, but it is still difficult to say how well. The long-awaited version 9 is ready for serious work and you can download the release candidate now.

C# Future Revealed At Build
May 23 | Kay Ewbank
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A talk by Mads Torgersen and Dustin Campbell at this year's build has given details of what the future of C# will hold, mainly in C# 8. The details come as the latest version of Visual Studio includes initial support for some features of C# 7.3.

What's Important To Get A Developer Job
May 22 | Janet Swift
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New data from HackerRank reveals that three out of four technical recruiters and hiring managers have hired individuals whose resumes would not have passed the screening process. It also warns that those who are ruling out applicants without a CS degree are missing out on millions of skilled candidates.

Visual Studio 2017 15.7 Fully C++17 Compliant
May 22 | Kay Ewbank
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The latest release of Visual Studio has been launched with improvements to performance, the editor, and debugging.

The Developer Union Wants To Negotiate Nicely With Apple
May 21 | Lucy Black
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After the publication of an open letter to Apple, asking it to allow free trials for all apps in the App Store by July 2019, developers are flocking to join a newly formed group which aims to campaign for sustainability in the App Store.

Enrol Now For Udacity Intro to Self-Driving Cars Nanodegree
May 21 | Nikos Vaggalis
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Self-Driving Cars;sounds seriously challenging and not for mere mortals. Could it be otherwise? Yes, and that's what Udacity is trying to change with this nanodegree, to render the topic of self driving cars accessible to just about anyone. Enrollment for the next session ends on May 22.

HHVM 3.26 With New Front End
May 21 | Kay Ewbank
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The latest version of the HHVM interpreter for PHP/Hack has been released and now uses the HackC compiler front-end. HackC includes a full-fidelity parser (FFP) and bytecode emitter for the Hack and PHP languages.

Google Clips - The Death of the Photographer
May 20 | David Conrad
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Google has invented a camera that can do what a photographer, or should that be videographer, does - pick the moment. It is the last piece of photography that humans were needed for. How it works is an interesting story that might have applications in other areas.

GPS Chief Architect Brad Parkinson Awarded IEEE Medal
May 19 | Sue Gee
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We take GPS for granted - we'd be lost without it. But have you ever wondered about who, when and how it was conceived? Brad Parkinson, who has received the 2018 IEEE Medal of Honor for his major role in its invention, is the best person to explain its origins.

May Week 3
May 19 | Editor
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I Programmer Weekly puts all our news coverage together in a handy digest together with the week's book reviews and additions to our archive of new  book titles related to programming. This list also includes a Programmer's Puzzle and an extract from Android Programming In Kotlin.

Carnegie Mellon Offers Bachelor's Degree In AI
May 18 | Sue Gee
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Carnegie Mellon is pioneering a Bachelor of Science degree in artificial intelligence beginning in September 2018, to address the growing demand for AI expertise.  

MakeCode for Lego Mindstorms Launched
May 18 | Kay Ewbank
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MakeCode for Lego Mindstorms has been launched by Microsoft and Lego. It's a Windows-based system that can be used to code using either a drag and drop code select system, or JavaScript. MakeCode can be used alongside Mindstorms components, servos, motors and Lego bricks.

More Recent News



Book Review

SQL Server 2017 Developer's Guide
Tuesday 22 May

Author: Dejan Sarka et al
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Pages: 816
ISBN: 978-1788476195
Print: 1788476190
Kindle: B078WBVRN8
Audience: SQL Server devs & architects
Rating: 4.2
Reviewer: Ian Stirk


This book’s title is misleading, it actually describes the salient new and enhanced features in both SQL Server 2016 and 2017. In other respects, how does it fare?


Featured Articles

Reverse Polish Notation - RPN
Harry Fairhead
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RPN or Reverse Polish Notation used to be a basic of the computer programmer's world, but today it is not as well known. Hence there may be some perfectly clued up programmers who are still left wondering what the sausage is doing outside of the bun.

Just JavaScript - The Function Object
Ian Elliot
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The function object is the most important object in all of JavaScript and yet we tend to forget that it is an object. Understanding that JavaScript functions are objects is probably the most important step you can take in understanding the language.

Douglas Hartree and the Meccano Computer
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Analog computers work in a very different way to digital computers. Once they were popular, the mainstay of computing, and who knows they could be again in the future. One thing is sure, the era of building computers from a children's construction kit, Meccano, is most probably over. Find out about Douglas Hartree and the construction kit computer.

Android Programming In Kotlin: Events
Mike James
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One of the biggest simplifications Kotlin brings to Android programming is the way events are handled. It may be easier, but it still helps to know what is going on. This extract is taken from Events in a new book aimed at Android programmers wanting to use Kotlin.

Vertex Coverings And The Cool Kids Problem
Joe Celko
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Joe Celko has posed another puzzle that requires you to think like a programmer. This one asks us to find the cool kids in a social network - the ones who taken together know everyone else. This is also a classic problem in graph theory and it is NP-complete, something the cool kids probably don't know.


Unhandled Exception!


Click for larger image

Docker is just gluing stuff together that we don't understand. Mostly yes. Git is just using a few commands and hoping that things don't go wrong. Mostly yes. Linux is just learning how to do a few things and reinstalling if anything happens. How shallow have we become. We are gluers together of things we don't understand. Mostly yes.

More cartoon fun at xkcd a webcomic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language


Book Watch

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Book Watch is I Programmer's listing of new books and is compiled using publishers' publicity material. It is not to be read as a review where we provide an independent assessment. Some but by no means all of the books in Book Watch are eventually reviewed.

Web Scraping with Python 2nd Ed (O'Reilly)
Thursday 24 May

By writing a simple automated program, you can query web servers, request data, and parse it to extract the information you need. In the expanded edition of this practical book, author Ryan Mitchell not only introduces you web scraping, but also provides a comprehensive guide to scraping almost every type of data from the modern web.


.NET Core 2.0 By Example (Packt)
Wednesday 23 May

This book introduces .NET Core 2.0 in a succinct format that delivers concepts, along with the implications, design decisions, and potential pitfalls you might face when targeting Linux and Windows systems. With the .NET framework at its center, authors Rishabh Verma and Neha Shrivastava use five varied projects to illustrate the concepts: a multiplayer Tic-tac-toe game; a real-time chat application, Let'sChat; a chatbot; a microservice-based buying-selling application; and a movie booking application.


Software Testing (Mercury)
Monday 21 May

This overview of software testing provides key concepts, case studies, and numerous techniques to ensure software is reliable and secure. Using a self-teaching format, author Rajiv Chopra covers important topics such as black, white, and gray box testing, video game testing, test point analysis, automation, and levels of testing and provides end-of-chapter multiple-choice questions and  answers to help ensure you've mastered the topics.


How to Make a Robot (Maker Media)
Friday 18 May

This book teaches the basics of modern robotics while showing how to build your own intelligent robot from scratch. Author Gordon McComb shows how to use inexpensive household materials to make the base for your robot, then add motors, power, wheels, and electronics. The robot that is created is actually five robots in one. You build your bot in stages, and add the features you want, varying the functions to create a robot that's uniquely yours.


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