December Week 2
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 18 December 2021

Get up to speed on stuff that affects you as a developer with our weekly digest. It summarizes the week's news together with links to the week's book review and our additions to Book Watch. This week we also have an extract from "Raspberry Pi Pico in MicroPython" and Mike James helps you get started with Intermediate Language (IL) for .NET.

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December 9 - 15, 2021

Featured Articles     

The Pico In MicroPython: Direct To The Hardware
Harry Fairhead & Mike James
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Just occasionally you need to work directly with the hardware and MicroPython has the commands to let you do this fairly easily but you need to know more about the hardware than usual. This is an extract from our latest book all about the Raspberry Pi Pico in MicroPython.

Getting Started With .NET IL
Mike James
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Do you need to understand IL to write good .NET code? Possibly not, but it makes no sense not to understand IL when it's so easy. Get started with Intermediate Language - now.


Programming News and Views  

Micro:bit A Gift Of Programming
15 Dec | Harry Fairhead
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The micro:bit is a great way to get started with programming because its easy to use but powerful enough to make interesting things. Get started now...

Stick Or Twist - Employers Want You
15 Dec | Sue Gee
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In looking for a new job, or deciding to stay in their current one, developers prioritize flexibility and opportunities to learn new technologies. The good news is that companies hoping to attract and retain developers are offering these perks.

NetBeans 12.6 Increases Support For Java 17
14 Dec | Kay Ewbank
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Apache NetBeans 12.6 has been released with support for Java 17 including pattern matching for switch expressions and switch statements, along with faster remote debugging and a revised YAML parser.

Take Stanford's Introduction to Robotics For Free
14 Dec | Nikos Vaggalis
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As part of the Stanford Engineering Everywhere initiative, which expands the Stanford experience to students and educators online and at no charge, the content of CS223A - Introduction to Robotics has been made available for free to anyone in a self-paced version.

Christmas Challenge From GCHQ
13 Dec | Mike James
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GCHQ has released its annual Christmas brain teaser. This year it is specifically targeted at 11-18 year olds, but don't let being a grown up stop you from having a go at solving it.

GitHub Improves Code Search
13 Dec | Kay Ewbank
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GitHub has announced a preview version of an improved way to search code on the platform. The GitHub team says the preview provides an early look at the next step in making GitHub easier to use, specifically helping developers explore and discover code, all while staying focused.

Programmer Gifts - Pi For Xmas
12 Dec | Harry Fairhead
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The holiday season is a good time to learn about computers - you have the time. But where to start? Our advice is to ignore the pudding and go for a Pi.

Gift Guide To Raspberry Pi Pico
10 Dec | Harry Fairhead
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The Christmas Holidays give us all a bit of extra time to engage in our hobbies - and for many programmers getting down to the hardware is our idea of fun. So why not put a Raspberry Pi Pico on your wish list?

Welcoming Django 4
10 Dec | Alex Denham
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Django, the high-level Python Web framework for creating full stack dynamic websites, has had a major update.  Django 4.0 adds support for functional unique constraints, has a new more secure password hasher, and uses more Python standard libraries.

Grace Hopper - Born On This Day In 1906
09 Dec | Sue Gee
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Today, December 9th 2021, is the 115th anniversary of the birth of Grace Hopper. Her concern for teaching young people is why Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code are timed to coincide with her birthday and this day is also celebrated as Día Mundial de la Informática in Latin America in recognition of her being a true pioneer of computer science.

JetBrains Updates Datalore For Enterprise
09 Dec | Kay Ewbank
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There's an updated version of Datalore, the online data science notebook with smart coding assistance from JetBrains which adds support for database connections and SQL cells, along with the ability to turn Jupyter notebooks into interactive reports.


Books of the Week

If you want to purchase, or to know more about, any of the titles listed below from Amazon, click on the book jackets at the top of the right sidebar. If you do make Amazon purchases after this, we may earn a few cents through the Amazon Associates program which is a small source of revenue that enables us to continue posting.

Full Review 

Mike James concludes his review:

If you want to know the basics of HTML, CSS and Javascript then this is is a good summary of these three huge topics. Given the size of the topics covered and the size of the book you cannot expect a complete or detailed coverage but it is effective as a brief introduction to the core material.

Added to Book Watch

More recently published books can be found in Book Watch Archive.

From the I Programmer Library

Recently published:


Programmers think differently from non-programmers, they see and solve problems in a way that the rest of the world doesn't. In this book Mike James takes programming concepts and explains what the skill involves and how a programmer goes about it. In each case, Mike looks at how we convert a dynamic process into a static text that can be understood by other programmers and put into action by a computer. If you're a programmer, his intent is to give you a clearer understanding of what you do so you value it even more.  

  • Deep C#: Dive Into Modern C# by Mike James

    In Deep C#, I Programmer's Mike James, who has programmed in C# since its launch in 2000, provides a “deep dive” into various topics that are important or central to the language at a level that will suit the majority of C# programmers. Not everything will be new to any given reader, but by exploring the motivation behind key concepts, which is so often ignored in the documentation, the intention is to be thought-provoking and to give developers confidence to exploit C#’s wide range of features.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 18 December 2021 )