Programming Reading Material’s free programmer’s notes for all sorts of platforms

I mentioned these FREE ebooks back on Programmer’s Day, but I feel that they merit their own post: has a great collection of FREE ebooks featuring programming recipes for all sorts of platforms, from Angular to Android, C to C++ to C#, Java to Kotlin, MongoDB to MySQL, Perl to PHP to Python, Ruby on Rails to React, Swift to Xamarin Forms and more!

You can download them for free here, but if you’re feeling really grateful and generous, you can buy them one or more coffees!

Deals Programming Reading Material

Happy Programmer’s Day 2021!

Once again, it’s September 13th — the 256th day of the year (on non-leap years)! As the number of values that can be expressed in a single byte, 256 means something to programmers, and as the largest power of 2 that will fit into 365, the 256th day of the year is a perfect excuse to declare it as Day of the Programmer.

Here are some things that you might find useful on this special day…

Want a free programming book? How about a whole lot of free programming books? has a series of notes for professionals for a wide array of programming languages and platforms. You can download them for free, but if you’re feeling really grateful and generous, you can buy them one or more coffees!

There’s Humble Bundle’s Python Superpowers bundle, which provides a lot of goodies for $25, including some really good Python video courses, ebooks, and a 6-month free license of PyCharm Professional Edition!

All work and no play makes Jack/Jackie a dull programmer, so why not play some programming games, like Shenzhen I/O, pictured above? Here’s a list of nine coding games that could sharpen your skills.

And finally, if you’re a new programmer or just need a Git refresher, you’ll want to check out Get Gud with Git.

Reading Material

Everything terrible about Medium, captured in a single post.

I stumbled across the headline I really hate the Medium experience, which resonated with me because — well, I really hate the Medium experience. When I tried to follow the link to read the article, I was presented with this:

Tap the image to view the terribleness at full size.

And that perfectly (and self-referentially too!) sums up the Medium experience.

If you’re writing developer articles, don’t write on Medium.

It won’t grow your audience or your reputation, the knowledge you’re trying to share will remain hidden as developers look elsewhere for answers, and you won’t be in control of your own content. Medium promises monetization, but speaking as someone who used to be able to pay the rent on Adsense revenues, articles don’t monetize that well anymore, and Medium pays worse.

Get a domain, set up whatever publishing system works for you, and post your articles there.

Don’t believe me? Listen to these people instead.

Mobile Reading Material

New book: “Androids: The Team That Built the Android Operating System”

Androids: The Team That Built the Android Operating System is a new book written by Chet Haase, a long-time lead on the Android UI toolkit team, and more recently, an Android developer advocate.

This article is part of the Android August series, in which I’m writing an Android development-related article every day during the month of August 2021.

Haase has been on the Android team since 2010, which is back when it was still considered to be the “wild card” in the race for mobile OS dominance. This gives him serious “in the room where it happened” cred, as well as access to people, photos, documentation, and other behind-the-scenes information about the creation of a operating system that now drives over 3 billion active devices today.

The original demo, written by Brian Swetland and Chris White and later enhanced by Fadden, showing a home screen and several apps (most of which were not implemented). It’s a far cry from a modern Android home screen.
The is the original demo of Android on a mid-2000s phone, showing a home screen and a selection of apps, most of which weren’t implemented at the time. Hey, it was a demo for a pitch! (Photo by Chet Haase)

Android wasn’t originally meant to be a phone OS. The original plan was for it to be an advanced OS for digital cameras, which were more common back in the early 2000s, and it’s the use case they presented to investors in early 2004.

It was later decided that the camera market wasn’t big enough, and that Android should aim for the same space occupied by the big mobile operating systems at the time: Symbian (the most popular mobile OS until 2010) and Windows Mobile. They courted Samsung and HTC, but in July 2005, Google made the prescient decision to acquire Android for $50 million. According to Wikipedia, this move was described in 2010 as Google’s “best deal ever” by their then VP of corporate development, David Lawee, to whom I reported during the dot-com era at OpenCola.

A Look Back at the First Android Phone, 10 Years Later | Digital Trends
The first commercially-available Android device: The HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1, released September 2008. (Creative Commons photo by Michael Oryl.)

Androids is an insider’s history of the Android operating system, but Haase also promises that it won’t be above a non-techie’s head:

Instead, it’s a history: It describes the events, stories, experiences, thinking, and decisions made by the Android team, most notably in the early days, well before the present-day concept of a smartphone existed.

Want to find more about the book? Check out these articles:

Want to get the book? There are a couple of ways to do so:

The book will also be available in paperback form.

The Connectory
Women Who Code: WWCode is a non profit that helps mid-career engineers get  promoted. | Y Combinator

Here’s another reason to buy the book: Haase is donating profits from the book to Black Girls Code and Women Who Code.

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.