Programming Reading Material

Get $411 worth of Python books for $18 with this Humble Bundle!

Once a year, Humble Bundle releases a bundle of No Starch Press’ excellent Python books, and it’s that time of year again! For the next 18 days from the time of this writing, you can get $411 worth of ebooks for as little as $18.

What you get for $1

The bundle is sold in tiers. If you pay only $1, you get this portion of the bundle, which makes for a great starter set for younger readers or if you’re thinking of getting into game development:

If these books alone for a dollar have piqued your interest, you can get them now by going to the Humble Bundle Python book page.

If a dollar is all you can spare, you’ll still be well-served by this deal. However, if you can spend a little more, the deal gets better…

What you get for $10 – $17.99

Pay between $10 and $17.99, and they’ll add these to the bundle:

In my opinion, the stand-out book in this tier is Serious Python, which cover languages features, tools, and techniques that you’ll need as you start writing applications that you or your customers will regularly use and rely upon.

If $17.99 is the most you can spare, you’re still getting a good deal, and you can go to the Humble Bundle Python book page and get your bundle now.

However, if you can part with $18 or more, you should read on…

What you get for $18 or more

And finally, if you pay $18 or more, they’ll throw in the gems of the collection:

If you’re serious about learning Python, you’ll want to pay $18 or more I used Python Crash Course and Automate the Boring Stuff with Python in the Python courses I taught last year.

Even though I bought the 2020 edition of this bundle, I bought the 2021 edition just to get Real World Python is a great way to learn some new tricks through its tour of algorithms and Python libraries. It was cheaper to buy the bundle than to buy Real World Python on its own. Do the math: You can pay $28 for Real World Python, or get all the books in the bundle for $10 less!

Beyond the Basic Stuff with Python is a great guide for writing more Pythonic code, Python One-Liners is worth it for just the NumPy and regex chapters alone, and Natural Language Processing with Python and spaCY packs an NLP course with lots of practical exercises into under 200 pages.

If the $18 bundle is what you’re looking for, go to Humble Bundle and get it while it’s still available!

The money goes to good causes

The proceeds from sales of this bundle go to:

The mission of the Python Software Foundation is to promote, protect, and advance the Python programming language, and to support and facilitate the growth of a diverse and international community of Python programmers. The majority of the PSF’s work is focused on empowering and supporting people within the Python community. The PSF has active grant programs that support sprints, conferences, meetups, user groups, and Python development efforts all over the world. In addition, the PSF underwrites and runs PyCon US, the primary Python community conference. Being part of the PSF means being part of the Python community. Recently we changed the PSF to an open membership organization, so that everyone who uses and supports Python can join.

To learn more, visit

The No Starch Press Foundation is an IRS 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt non-profit corporation created to support and grow the collective knowledge and contributions of the worldwide hacker community.

We support hackers of all types, regardless of experience — whether that’s the passionate beginner or the lifelong hacker wishing to make a broader contribution to the hacker community and the world.

The Foundation was formed to give back to and strengthen the hacking community. The Foundation’s founder, William Pollock, has been closely involved with the hacking community since about 1999 and much of the success of his company, No Starch Press, is due to the support of the worldwide hacking community. To date, Pollock has given over $800,000 to the Foundation and is working to expand its donor base. The Foundation’s funding will be used to help strengthen and expand the hacking community, by educating the public about hacking and working to create safe and central places for the hacking community.

Programming Reading Material

Humble Bundle’s “Ultimate Python Bookshelf” bundle is available until Monday afternoon!

At the time this article was published, there are 3 days and 21 hours remaining to get Humble Bundle’s “Ultimate Python Bookshelf” bundle. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you can get 3, 8, or 24 books at a deeply discounted price, and some of the money goes to two worthy charities. Read on to find out more…

The books

Depending on how much you pay, you’ll get 3, 8 or 24 books.

If you pay $1 – $9.99, you get these books:

  • The Python Workshop
  • The Statistics and Calculus with Python Workshop
  • Web Development with Django

If you pay $10 – $17.99, you get the books above, along with:

  • Hands-on Exploratory Data Analysis with Python
  • Hands-on Machine Learning with scikit-learn and Scientific Python Toolkits
  • Django 3 by Example
  • Python Automation Cookbook
  • Hands-on Genetic Algorithms with Python

And if you pay $18 or more, you get all the books above, plus:

  • Python Data Cleaning Cookbook
  • Deep Reinforcement Learning with Python
  • Data Engineering with Python
  • Modern Python Cookbook
  • Applying Math with Python
  • Python Image Processing Cookbook
  • Python Feature Engineering
  • Practical Python Programming for IoT
  • Python Algorithmic Trading Cookbook
  • Applied Computational Thinking with Python
  • Hands-on Python Natural Language Processing
  • Hands-on Simulation Modeling with Python
  • Mastering Python Networking
  • Artificial Intelligence with Python
  • Python for Finance Cookbook
  • Quantum Computing with Python and IBM Quantum Experience

Interested? You can order the bundle here.

The causes

All Humble Bundles route some of each bundle’s price to one or more charities. In the case of The Ultimate Python Bookshelf bundle, there are two charities that will benefit:

Doctors Without Borders / Médécins Sans Froniteres: An international, independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in nearly 70 countries.

Stop AAPI Hate: A national coalition addressing anti-Asian racism across the U.S. The coalition was founded by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department. Between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021, Stop AAPI Hate has received 3,795 reported incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans across the U.S..

Wait a minute — there are Packt books. Are they worth getting?

As you were reading this article, you were probably wondering about the issue of the less-than-stellar reputation of Packt’s books and if I was going to raise the issue.

Consider the issue raised, Gentle Reader.

When they were starting out, it seemed that Packt took whatever author they could get to write about the hot tech topics of the moment and rushed those books to market. Over the years, the quality of their authors, review process, and books seems to have improved. I know for a fact that Tampa-based iOS developer Craig Clayton has written some excellent books on iOS development for Packt — because I bought them all.

I decided to buy the bundle. I paid the recommended $25 for these reasons:

  • Some of the money goes to two good causes.
  • At $25 for 24 books, that’s less than $1.05 per book.
  • I’m at the point where I won’t even notice a “missing” $25.
  • I don’t consider it $25 spent, but $25 invested.

That last point requires a deeper explanation:

  • If at least a handful of these books are good and provide me with something that I can use at work, in my own programming projects, or in my articles, I will have collected a good return on my investment.
  • Even if most of them are bad, it will still be a worthwhile investment because the 25 books span a wide array of Python topics, and will give me a better idea of what I don’t know, and better still, what I don’t know I don’t know. I can then look for better sources of information.

As I go through each of these books, I’ll post my findings and opinions here.

How to order the bundle

Once again, Humble Bundle’s “Ultimate Python Bookshelf” bundle is available until Monday, April 26 at 2:00 p.m. EDT (UTC-4). If you wanted to learn Python, sharpen your Python skills, or expand your knowledge of where you can apply Python, this bundle is worth considering.

Current Events Reading Material Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay tech podcasts from September 2020

September has come and gone, which means it’s time for the listing of the month’s episodes from Tampa Bay tech podcasts! Here are the ones I know about, listed from newest podcast on the block, to one that’s been around for years.

Friends That Code

Friends that Code is the newest podcast on this list, and it’s hosted by Mike Traverso, whom locals may know from the Tampa Bay Google Developers Group meetup and other Google-y events. In this podcast, he showcases…

…some amazing people I know that just happen to write code for a living. Whether they started off intending to code or just happened into it, we get to hear about the types of people you’ll meet, things you’ll get to do, jobs you’ll have along the way, and advice from some awesome coders along the way!

Here are the episodes from September:

The Mike Dominick Show

The Mike Dominick Show is the second-newest of the podcasts in this list, and it has an open source focus.

Here are the episodes from September:

  • Episode 38: Jochen Breuer of SUSE Manager
    Mike sits down with Jochen Breuer, who works on Uyuni, Salt, and Cobbler. He’s a maintainer for Salt on openSUSE, an openSUSE Member and a Fedora packager.
  • Episode 37: Jono Bacon
    Mike sits down with Jono Bacon, leading community and collaboration strategy consultant, author, and speaker. He previously led community at Canonical, GitHub, and XPRIZE, and works with a broad range of clients from large enterprises to early-stage startups to help them build engaging, productive communities. He is the author of six books, including the award-winning ‘People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams‘, is a columnist at Forbes, and published in Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Entrepreneur, and elsewhere.
  • Episode 36: Adam Dymitruk
    Mike sits down with Ada Dymitruk of Adapt Tech Group to discuss Event Modeling, a way of thinking about software projects that will blow your mind.

The 6 Figure Developer

At the time I’m writing this, The 6 Figure Developer — hosted by John Callway, Clayton Hunt, and Jon Ash — has posted 158 episodes. It’s…

…a show dedicated to helping developers to grow their career. Topics include Test Driven Development, Clean Code, Professionalism, Entrepreneurship, as well as the latest and greatest programming languages and concepts.

Here are the episodes from September:

  • Episode 163 – MLOps and ML.NET with Alexander Slotte
    Alexander is a Microsoft MVP and a Managing Consultant and .NET Xpert at Excella, based out of Washington DC. He’s the founder and organizer of The Virtual ML.NET Community Conference and the organizer of the .NET DC User Group.
  • Episode 162 – C# 9 and .NET 5 with LaBrina Loving
    LaBrina Loving is a Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft with over 18 years of experience in the Microsoft stack. In her role, she is focused on helping Startups and ISVs migrate to Azure and modernize their SaaS solutions for cloud. She works with them to leverage the cloud for cutting edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots, IoT/Edge, Serverless, and DevOps. LaBrina is a speaker doing conferences and user groups all over the world and has recently started a Podcast “Disrupting the Cloud” that highlights the journey of cloud newbies and professionals in cloud computing, especially women and BiPOC.
  • Episode 161 – Next.js with Tim Neutkens
    Tim Neutkens is the co-author and lead maintainer of Next.js and is the co-author of the MDX library for dynamic markdown documents. He has a passion for creating scalable applications and improving the developer experience, and has spoken at a number of industry conferences such as dotJS and React. He joined Vercel (formerly ZEIT) in 2017 and co-authored a number of libraries the team was building internally and served as a project advisor. Prior to Vercel, he worked at We Provide for two years as a software developer and has a background in eCommerce and CMS solutions using PHP.
  • Episode 160 – Visual Testing with Angie Jones
    Angie is a Principal Automation Architect, Director of Test Automation University, she is an International Keynote Speaker and Java Champion, and is the creator of more than 25 patented inventions.
  • Episode 159 – Mo Hampton: Giving Back to Tech without Burnout
    Mo is an Army Veteran and Software Engineer. Her passion for web application development led her to the Open Source community to learn full-stack JavaScript. When not thriving off of coffee, meditation or travel, she builds cost-effective, user-friendly business applications.

Thunder Nerds

Of the podcasts in this roundup, Thunder Nerds — “A conversation with the people behind the technology, that love what they do… and do tech good” — has been around the longest, with 271 episodes over five seasons to date. You’ve probably seen the hosts at local meetups and conferences; they’re Sarrah Vesselov, Frederick Philip Von Weiss, and Brian Hinton.

Here are the episodes from September:

273 – 🦈 The Journey of a Developer, & Aquariums on Mars with Krystal Campioni
In this episode, we get to speak with Krystal Campioni: Creative Coder, Speaker, Marine life enthusiast, and Senior Front-end Developer at Shopify. We discuss Krystal’s career at Shopify, creative coding with CSS and Vue, and our current new normal.

272 – 🤝 Talking to a JavaScript Friend with Baskar Rao Dandlamudi
In this episode, we get to speak with Design Leader, YouTuber, and Co-founder & CEO at Blush Pablo Stanley. We discuss the fundamentals of design thinking, and how to improve your craft. We also talk about Blush, and how it allows you to customize every piece of an illustration to create your own compositions.

Programming Reading Material What I’m Up To

JavaScript books that you can read online for FREE

My actual setup at my old office (February 3, 2020), where I coded in JavaScript all day.


  1. You’ve decided to learn JavaScript (or just need a refresher), and
  2. you’re short on cash due to the current economic situation

…you’re in luck! There are a couple of good books on JavaScript whose contents are available to read online, free of charge!

The first of these books is Eloquent JavaScript, Third Edition, written by Marijn Haverbeke and published by No Starch Press. It’s not just an introduction to JavaScript, but an introduction to programming in general. It’s beginner-friendly, which is one of the reasons why it’s the main book for the first part of the JavaScript/React course that I’m teaching.

You can Eloquent JavaScript, Third Edition online here.

The second book is JavaScript for Impatient Programmers, ECMAScript 2020 edition, written by Dr. Alex Rauschmeyer. Its coverage of JavaScript is more complete, but it’s a little less beginner-friendly, which is why it’s the backup book for my course. I’m going to incorporate some of its content into the course, and point students to the online edition if they’d like some additional reading material.

You can read JavaScript for Impatient Programmers, ECMAScript 2020 edition online here.

Current Events Deals Programming Reading Material

Happy Programmer’s Day! / Fanatical’s deal on FREE programming books

The origin of Programmer’s Day

The 256th day of the year (the 100th day in hexadecimal) is known as the Day of the Programmer. On most years, it’s September 13th, but on leap years — which includes this one — it’s September 12th.

The day was proposed by two Russian programmers, Valentin Balt and Michael Cherviakov, who petitioned their government to recognize this day. The recognition came on September 11, 2009 when Russian president Dmitry Medvedev signed the decree, making it official.

The deal

Whenever an “official unofficial” day like this happens, there’s always at least one vendor offering a deal. Day of the Programmer is no exception, and Fanatical are offering a bundle of three books from Packt for free in its honor!

Yes, I know that Packt is almost industry shorthand for “Not necessarily good, but not necessarily bad,” but at this price, you can’t say that these books aren’t worth every penny.

Here’s a video that goes a little deeper into deal, and a little deeper into poking a little fun at Packt:

Reading Material Security Tampa Bay

My list of links from class discussions during UC Baseline’s InfoSec week

Photo: The Undercroft sign, featuring the Undercroft’s “mascot” — a stag standing upright in a suit, leaning jauntily against an umbrella, walking stick-style.During the Information Security week of the UC Baseline cybersecurity program, the instructors asked us a lot of questions whose answers we had to look up. As a way to maximize participation, we were encouraged to share lots of links of the class’ Slack channel, which also functioned as a backchannel, as well as a way to chat with the students who were taking the course online.

The links that we shared in class were valuable material that I thought would be worth keeping for later reference. I’ve been spending an hour here and there, gathering them up and even organizing them a little. The end result is the list below.

Since these are all publicly-available links and don’t link to any super-secret UC Baseline instructional material, I’m posting them here on Global Nerdy. Think of this list as a useful set of security-related links, something to read if you’re bored, or a peek into what gets discussed during the InfoSec week of the UC Baseline course!

The links

  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Cyber Security Guidance Material
    A collection of “educational materials specifically designed to give HIPAA covered entities and business associates insight into how to respond to a cyber-related security incidents.”
  • DFIR — Digital Forensics and Incident Response
    “Digital forensics and incident response is an important part of business and law enforcement operations. It is a philosophy supported by today’s advanced technology to offer a comprehensive solution for IT security professionals who seek to provide fully secure coverage of a corporation’s internal systems.”
  • Understanding RPO and RTO
    “Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) are two of the most important parameters of a disaster recovery or data protection plan. These are objectives which can guide enterprises to choose an optimal data backup plan.”

  • The 3-2-1 backup rule
    “For a one-computer user, the VMware backup strategy can be as simple as copying all important files to another device – or, ideally, several devices – and keeping them in a safe place. However, for multiple computer systems, things can be (and usually are) much more complicated, especially when it comes to virtual environments containing thousands of virtual machines. To protect physical machines, you would need to perform Windows Server backup or Linux Server backup, which might be difficult without effective backup tools. In these cases, a comprehensive data protection plan should include the 3-2-1 backup rule.”

  • Evaluating Risks Using Quantitative Risk Analysis
    “Project managers should be prepared to perform different types of risk analysis. For many projects, the quicker qualitative risk assessment is all you need. But there are occasions when you will benefit from a quantitative risk analysis.Let’s take a look at this type of analysis: What is it? Why should we perform it? When should it be performed? And how do we quantify risks?”

  • Buffer/stack overflows
  • Here are six basic human tendencies that are exploited in social engineering attacks:
    1. Authority: An attacker may call you pretending to be an executive in order to exploit your tendency to comply with authority figures.
    2. Liking: An attacker may try to build rapport with you by finding common interests, and then ask you for a “favor”.
    3. Reciprocation: An attacker may try to do something for you, or convince you that he or she has, before asking you for something in return.
    4. Consistency: An attacker might first get your verbal commitment to abide by a fake security policy, knowing that once you agree to do so, you will likely follow through with his next request in order to keep your word.
    5. Social Validation: An attacker may try to convince you to participate in a fake survey by telling you that others in your department already have. He or she may have even gotten some of their names and use them to gain your trust.
    6. Scarcity: An attacker may tell you that the first 10 people to complete a survey will automatically win a prize and that since some of your co-workers have already taken the survey, you might as well too.
  • Social Studies – A Lesson in Social Engineering Basics
    As we have become more and more vigilant against clicking on malicious links in suspicious emails, some social engineers have gone back to the classic person-to-person approach. Their basic strategy is to prey on vulnerabilities in human nature.
Programming Reading Material Tampa Bay What I’m Up To

Some parting wisdom to my Python students (or: Go read Julia “b0rk” Evans’ ’zines!)

Graohic: Computer Coach Training Center logoLast night was the final night of the Intro to Python Coding course that I’ve been teaching on behalf of Computer Coach for the past five weeks — Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m..

I’d like to congratulate the students! It’s not easy to spend four hours an evening twice a week learning something completely new and unknown to you, but the students did just that. If you’ve ever been in any of my Tampa iOS Meetup sessions, you’ve seen my teaching technique — you’re not passively watching slides, but coding along with me, and even experimenting, just to see what happens. That’s I what I did with the Python class — we entered code and saw what happened, hopefully learning along the way.

As a farewell present to the students, I sent them a copy of So You Want to be a Wizard, a little “zine” written by Julia “b0rk” Evans for programmers who are starting out that’s full of good advice. I hope it helps them through those moments that every programmer has, when nothing seems to work and all you want to do is throw your computer out the window. I’ve posted it here as well, partly because it’s full of good advice that even experts need to remember, and partly because I want to make sure that everyone knows about Julia’s works.

Even the table of contents lets you that that you’re in for a fun read:

Julia has a whole set of zines, some of which are free…

…and some fancier ones, which come at a reasonable price, even for groups:

Once again, congratulations to the Intro to Python Coding students!