August Week 4
Saturday, 27 August 2022

This week our news analysis starts with an item from Prashanth Chandrasekar, CEO of Stack Overflow, arguing that the battle for tech talent isn’t about a skills gap. We also hear about iterators and sequences in Kotlin from Mike James and how bluetooth works from Harry Fairhead.  

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August 18 - 24, 2022 

Featured Articles  

The Programmers Guide To Kotlin- Iterators & Sequences
Mike James
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Iterators and sequences are a large part of using collections and taking a functional approach to programming. We look at how they work in Kotlin.

How Bluetooth Works
Harry Fairhead
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Programming is about software, but we need to know how the hardware works to get the best out of it. The rapid rise of Bluetooth in mobile devices means that it is a good idea to understand how it works.


Programming News and Views   

The Battle For Tech Talent
24 Aug | Prashanth Chandrasekar
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... isn’t about a skills gap. The world is in desperate need of developers. There are tens of thousands of technical roles open in the UK alone, with global roles exceeding 300,000. The industry is facing an unprecedented battle for tech talent that is here to stay.

JavaScript In Space - James Webb Telescope
24 Aug | Mike James
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JavaScript is the main way to automate a webpage, but who would have thought that NASA would pick it as a way to get scientists to plan their observations.

GitHub Enterprise Adds Support For Discussions
23 Aug | Kay Ewbank
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GitHub Enterprise 3.6 has been released with improvements including support for GitHub Discussions, a repository cache, and audit log streaming. GitHub Enterprise is designed to give large companies a way to deploy GitHub in their own environments.

.NET Now Included In Ubuntu
23 Aug | Ian Elliot
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Microsoft has announced that.NET 6 is now included in Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy) and is easily installed. .NET 6 is a Long Term Support release, and Microsoft, with its usual modesty, says the inclusion in Ubuntu represents a major improvement and simplification for Ubuntu users.

Microsoft's Artificial Intelligence for Beginners
22 Aug | Nikos Vaggalis
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There's a new free, self-paced, online course about Artificial Intelligence from Microsoft's Azure Cloud Advocates. Its 24 lesson curriculum, expected to take 12 weeks to complete, is targeted at those brand new to Artificial Intelligence.

Deno Team Announces Big Changes Ahead
22 Aug | Kay Ewbank
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The developers of Deno have announced a number of major improvements for the next version, based on feedback from a recent survey of Deno developers. Deno is the JavaScript and TypeScript runtime from the creator of Node.js.

$10 Million Avatar X Prize - The Final Tests
21 Aug | Sue Gee
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Twenty teams of researchers from the robotics industry and university labs across eleven countries are gearing up for the ANA Avatar XPRIZE. The finals take place in November with case prizes of $5 Million, $2 Million and $1 Million for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams.

Kotlin And Android - A Match Made In Google
19 Aug | Mike James
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It is over five years since Google adopted Kotlin as a first class language for Android. Two years later Kotlin became the preferred language for writing Android apps and Google hopes that eventually all Android developers will switch over to Kotlin.

Gaming For Science Scores A Victory
19 Aug | Kay Ewbank
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The guilty pleasure of playing a game when you're supposed to be working is one that is probably too well known, but the concept of gaming for science is allowing participants to play AND feel virtuous.

OS-Climate - Open Source To Tackle Climate Change
18 Aug | Nikos Vaggalis
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OS-Climate is a Linux Foundation-backed project working to develop open source data and tools to help to meet the Paris Accord climate goals of limiting warming to well below 2 °C, with an aspiration of 1.5 °C.

Blender 3.2 Adds Light Groups
18 Aug | Kay Ewbank
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Blender has been updated with improvements including light groups, shadow caustics, and volume motion blur. The developers say the new version also "revolutionizes polygon painting with new tools, usability improvements, and unprecedented performance."


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 helps us to continue posting.

Full Review 

Ian's Verdict: 

The book contains plenty of sage advice and practical code, won from years of investigating and fixing SQL Server performance problems. 

This is now my favorite SQL Server performance book. If you have SQL Server performance problems, you need this book.   

Added to Book Watch 

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

From the I Programmer Library

Latest publications: 


This month sees the publication of the revised second edition of Programmer's Python: Everything Is An Object in which Mike James reveals how Python has a unique and unifying approach with regards to class and objects. This is the first of a set of titles at intermediate level for the programmer who wants to understand what makes Python special and sets it apart from other programming languages, hence the strap line "Something Completely Different - which is, of course, a reference to the Monty Python TV and film brand that inspired Guido Van Rossum to name his new language. The subject is roughly speaking everything to do with the way Python implements objects. That is, in order of sophistication, metaclass; class; object; attribute; and all of the other facilities such as functions, methods and the many “magic methods” that Python uses to make it all work.  


This is the second of that Something Completely Different titles and explores the way that data is treated in a distinctly Pythonic way. What we have in Python are data objects that are very usable and very extensible. From the unlimited precision integers, referred to as bignums, through the choice of a list to play the role of the array, to the availability of the dictionary as a built-in data type, Python behaves differently to other languages and this book is what you need to help you make the most of these special features. There are also complete chapters on Boolean logic, dates and times, regular expressions and bit manipulation.

MIke James is now working on the third book in the series, Programmer's Python: Async which not only covers the latest asyncio in depth, but has all you need to know about the many approaches to async that Python provides - threads, processes,futures,tasks, schedulers. This is the book you need to understand all the options, trade-offs and gotchas. 

These books aren’t for the complete beginner and some familiarity with both object-oriented programming and Python is assumed, with the first chapter providing a quick recap. They also share an Appendix on using Visual Studio Code from Python. 


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.  

Last Updated ( Saturday, 27 August 2022 )