The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering is an apt title for a book that helps you move from programming (writing code) to software development (the larger process, which includes requirements, design, testing, delivery, maintenance, and so on) to software engineering (bringing the discipline of engineering to software development, which involves repeatable, consistent processes, and a move to relying more on science than on craft). Better still, it’s a $60 book that’s now available for free right up to June 30th, 2020!

ACM logo

Who’s giving away this book?

The book is part of the digital library of the ACM — Association for Computing Machinery — one of the world’s first and largest professional groups devoted to computing. Founded in 1947, the ACM pre-dates the first time a thing we would consider to be a program was run on a thing we would consider to be a digital computer by a year! The ACM’s mission is to promote computing as an academic interest, science, and profession.

On Monday, March 30th, the ACM announced that they have opened their normally paywalled digital library to the public for the next three months as a way of supporting the computing community during the COVID-19 crisis. From now until June 30th, 2020, it will cost nothing to access the library or to download any number of electronic books from it. You can visit the library right now without having to log in.

Here’s the thing: the ACM is an organization run by academics, and you’ll see that as soon as you visit the library. Their books are more like university textbooks and less like “For loops for Dummies”. Still, there are a few books in the library that you’ll find useful even if you aren’t looking for works to cite for your Ph.D. dissertation. The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering is one of these books.

Why should you get this book?

Most books on development these days focus on what I call the mechanics of building software: the vocabulary and syntax of programming languages, how-tos from programming tools, frameworks, and libraries, and the technologies and techniques for getting a specific kind of functionality into the applications you’re writing.

Fewer books and even fewer courses cover the larger process of building software, such as design, development,  testing, evaluation, and maintenance. Software engineering is not programming: It’s the application of techniques borrowed from engineering to craft complete solutions, of which software is a part.

The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering provides a good introduction — or for those of us who took the course long ago, a good refresher — to the topic.

Who should read this book?

  • If you’re a computer science major: Software engineering is a key course in just about every university’s computer science degree program. This is because it’s part of a recommended standard computer science curriculum developed by the ACM and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering is one of the most up-to-date textbooks on the topic.
  • If you’re self-learning or in a code camp: Software engineering is one of those topics that gets missed in the code schools and courses, where the emphasis is on a specific programming language and technologies and not the larger topic of the software development process. The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering is essential supplementary ready for you.
  • If you’re a junior developer: Are you on your first job, or perhaps the first couple of years in your software development career? Think of The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering as a way of gauging prospective workplaces or the place where you’re working, as well as a guide for what you should be learning.
  • If you’re a senior developer: What a senior developer anyway? Well, if the number of developers doubles every five years as it has been since the ’90s, it stands to reason that half the developers out there have less than five years’ experience. If you have 5+ years’ experience as a developer, you’re a senior, and you should treat The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering as a checklist!
  • If you’re a non-technical manager of a development team or project: The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering is pretty layperson-friendly and quite readable. You should at least skim the book for an overview of what’s considered better ways to build and maintain software.
  • If you’re in hiring or recruiting: You should skim The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering to get a better feel for the software development process. You might also get some insight into the sort of skills and aptitudes that developers, especially senior ones, should have.

Get the book now while it’s free!

In case you were wondering, The Essentials of Modern Software Engineering currently has a five-star rating on Amazon. Yes, it’s from 7 reviewers, but 7 high-quality reviewers.

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Photo: A very still river on a sunny day, with the water reflecting the oak and willow trees on its banks. Text: Tampa Bay tech, entrepreneur, and nerd events / Monday, March 30 — Sunday April 5, 2020.

Hello, fellow Suncoast techies, entrepreneurs, and nerds! I hope you’re staying safe and sane while spending most of your time at home. Here’s this week’s list of online-only events for techies, entrepreneurs, and nerds based in an around the Tampa Bay area. I’m restricting this list to online-only events until public health officials have stated that it’s safe for public gatherings again.

(In case you were wondering about the photo above, that’s the Hillsborough River as seen from the park on Patterson Street in Seminole Heights.)

Some words of wisdom from the Tenth Doctor

David Tennant giving his “It’s going to be okay” speech on the BBC TV show “The Last Leg”, January 2017.

It’s always a good time for some words of reassurance, so are some from a trusted geek icon: David Tennant, a.k.a. The Tenth Doctor, giving his “It’s going to be okay” speech from January 2017 on the BBC TV show The Last Leg. It was for a different issue from a different time, but it’s still applicable right now:

It’s all gonna be okay. Trust me, I’m a Doctor. But it’s up to us to make it okay. It’s time to be positively rebellious, and rebelliously positive. As long as we stand up for what we believe in. Don’t give in to anger or violence. Look out for the little guy. Keep an eye on the big guys. Refuse to keep our mouths shut. And just generally, try not to be dicks. Every little thing is gonna be alright.

News Items and other links

This week’s events

Monday, March 30

Tuesday, March 31

Wednesday, April 1

Thursday, April 2

Friday, April 3

Saturday, April 4

Sunday, April 5

Do you have any events or announcements that you’d like to see on this list?

Let me know at joey@joeydevilla.com!

Join the mailing list!

If you’d like to get this list in your email inbox every week, enter your email address below. You’ll only be emailed once a week, and the email will contain this list, plus links to any interesting news, upcoming events, and tech articles.

Join the Tampa Bay Tech Events list and always be informed of what’s coming up in Tampa Bay!


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Programmers — Before, during, and after COVID-19

by Joey deVilla on March 26, 2020

It is nice work if you can get it.

Thanks to Kristan Uccello for the find!

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Next Tuesday is Tential Tuesday!

by Joey deVilla on March 26, 2020

Banner: “Digital Transformation — The Driving Need” / Speaker Siddarth Rao, CIO of Axogen / 5:15 p.m.

Tential have been good to the Tampa tech community and me personally (during my own personal job crisis last year, which I’ll write about later), and they continue to be good, even when we’re all staying at home, and hopefully working remotely. Their goodness continues with the upcoming Tential Tuesday, which takes place online next Tuesday, March 31st, at 5:15 p.m.!

The topic will be Digital Transformation — The Driving Need, and the speaker will be Siddarth Rao, CIO, Head of IT and Digital Transformation of Axogen, a company focused specifically on the science, development and commercialization of technologies for peripheral nerve regeneration and repair. I assume that “Axogen” gets its name from axon (a nerve fiber) and regeneration.

Sign up for the online event; they’ll post the Zoom link soon.

I’ll see you there! In the meantime, here’s the Tential Tuesday jingle, which I performed at BarCamp Tampa Bay:

 

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Hello, Tampa Bay techie, entrepreneur, and nerd friends! I hope that you’re safe, symptom-free, and social distancing!

Pictured above is my front porch, where I’ve decided to take advantage of the current good weather, comfortable temperatures, and Seminole Heights views. Lilypad, my place of work, has been really good about giving people the choice of working remotely for the past couple of weeks, and in the past few days, they’ve told everyone to work from home.

This will probably be the first of a few weeks’ of very interesting, very different weekly lists. I’m going to include only online/webinar/web-chat events in the list as my part in helping combat the spread of COVID-19.

This week’s online events

Monday, March 23

Tuesday, March 24

Wednesday, March 25

Thursday, March 26

Friday, March 27

Saturday, March 28

Sunday, March 29

(No events listed)

Additional news

A “stay at home” order this week?

Mayor Jane Castor has told WTSP 10 News that it was extremely likely that a “stay at home” order for all of Hillsborough County will be issued this week — and from the look of things, it will happen early this week. Earlier this weekend, she said that she expected that a state- or area-wide “stay at home” order would go out, and failing that, the Hillsborough Emergency Policy Group will discuss issuing a local order during a meeting Monday afternoon at 1:30 p.m..

Simply put: Expect a Hillsborough County “stay at home” order as early as Monday afternoon and plan accordingly. The order would still allow essential trips, such as going to the grocery store, solitary exercise, or even to “get fresh air”, as long as you maintained a safe distance from other people. Non-essential trips would not be allowed.

Got an online event?

Expect lots of last-minute online events to happen for the next little while. If you’ve got one that you’d like announced on the mailing list and on GlobalNerdy.com, let me know!

Want to participate in a COVID-19-related software project, or start one?

HelpWithCovid.com is an online listing of COVID-19-related projects looking for talent, including remote software talent. If you’ve got the time and the skill, you might want to find a project and lend a hand, or start one yourself.

 

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What I’ve been up to this week

by Joey deVilla on March 19, 2020

Tap the photo to see it at full size.

Hello, Global Nerdy readers! I hope you’re staying safe, and perhaps even productive, as much of the world socially distances themselves in order to help slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

I normally do my work in the Lilypad office, and while we do have one of the bedrooms in our house set up as a home office, it’s Anitra’s office these days, as most of her work is done from there. She‘s a ScrumMaster, which means that a lot of her work involves teleconferencing and requires her to have the office to herself.

I decided that with Tampa being quite temperate in late winter — it’s 87° F / 31° C as I write this at 2 in the afternoon — I should set up my temporary home office on our screened-in front porch. Here’s the wide view of my setup:

Tap the photo to see it at full size.

Here’s a closer look:

Tap the photo to see it at full size.

Many parts of the working world may be grinding to a halt, but that’s not the case where I am. Here’s what’s keeping me busy…

First, there’s my day job: Lilypad. It’s a CRM for brewers, distillers, and other makers of beverage alcohol, which allows their salespeople and their managers to manage their sales activities, track who they’ve talked to, and maintain relationships with their customers — namely, the bars, restaurants, hotels, and stores that sell their booze. The app has both web and mobile components, and I work on the mobile app. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on making some fixes to the Android version of the app.

I’m also working on a revision of iOS Apprentice, a beginner-friendly book that teaches you how to write apps for the iPhone. I’m one of the authors, along with Eli Ganem, and the book is published by raywenderlich.com, the premier site for tutorials on developing mobile apps. We’re updating the book to cover some changes in iOS and Xcode, the developer tool for building iOS apps.

I’ve got a couple of extra mobile projects currently under wraps, but I’m sure I’ll write about them soon enough.

As long as we’re practicing social distancing to slow down the spread of COVID-19, I won’t be holding any in-person meetups. However, thanks to modern technology, we might still be able to have Coders, Creatives, and Craft Beer as well as the return of Tampa iOS Meetup — at least in online videoconference form! Watch this space — I’m looking to get these started next week.

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If you’re following the recommended practice of social distancing as part of a civic-minded attempt to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and buy some much-needed time for our healthcare system, I salute you with a filet mignon on a flaming sword!

However, you may find yourself jonesing for a meetup. You might want to check out the webinars put on by the online coding school Thinkful, who have several webinars on current software development topics every week. If you want a session on JavaScript or Python fundamentals, want to know more about data science, or are thinking about getting into product management or UI/UX design, these might be what you’re looking for. I’ve losted this week’s webinars below.

These webinars are all free, and they’re there to help entice you into enrolling in one of Thinkful’s full courses. They generally place well in “best coding bootcamp” lists, but you might want to take those with a grain of salt.

I’ll probably check out the Intro to JavaScript: Build a Virtual Pet webinar on Thursday evening; I’d like to see what approach they take. Let me know if you’re checking out any of their webinars!

Monday, March 16

Tuesday, March 17

Wednesday, March 18

Thursday, March 19

Saturday, March 21

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