Node Book Club Meeting: "Seven Languages in Seven Weeks", Feb. 9th @ 7:30pm

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Marty McGuire

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Jan 13, 2011, 10:23:03 AM1/13/11
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Hi Folks,

The Node Book Club met yesterday at 6:30pm to discuss our first reading - the original paper on Hamming codes.  There was a lot of interesting discussion about the history of computing (from mechanical relays to modern consumer radios), and many other topics. (Disclosure: I missed a lot of discussion because I thought the meeting was at 7:30pm. Whoops!)

Our next meeting is currently scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 9th, at 7:30pm.  We'll be reading Bruce Tate's "Seven Languages in Seven Weeks", published by the Pragmatic Programmers.

From the publisher:

> You should learn a programming language every year, as recommended by The Pragmatic Programmer.
> But if one per year is good, how about Seven Languages in Seven Weeks? In this book you’ll get a
> hands-on tour of Clojure, Haskell, Io, Prolog, Scala, Erlang, and Ruby. Whether or not your favorite
> language is on that list, you’ll broaden your perspective of programming by examining these languages
> side-by-side. You’ll learn something new from each, and best of all, you’ll learn how to learn a language quickly.

The book can be purchased in ebook (epub/mobi/PDF) form and (when they're back in stock) paperback from their website: http://pragprog.com/titles/btlang/seven-languages-in-seven-weeks

It can also be found online and in some stores at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Our next meeting is less than seven weeks away, so we don't expect anyone to make it all the way through the book and all of its activities.  Feel free to skim it at a high level, read about the languages that are the most (un)familiar to you, or just pick a couple of really interesting/different languages and dive in.  The hope is that we'll learn some new and interesting things about the theory behind these languages, how to find similarities between languages, learn new tricks for picking up a new language, and get a lot of inspiration for using these languages in our projects!

Feel free to start the discussion early by posting your plans, progress, thoughts, and ideas in this thread.

Thanks again to Colin for getting this club organized and underway!

Thanks,
Marty

Marty McGuire

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Jan 26, 2011, 3:38:32 PM1/26/11
to Baltimore Node Discussion
Hey All,

This is a reminder that the next Node Book Club meeting is two weeks away!

On Feb 9th at 7:30pm we'll meet at the Node to discuss Bruce Tate's "Seven Languages in Seven Weeks".

If you start now and compress each week into 2 days, you can finish up the book just in time. :)

I'm enjoying the book so far. I liked that he jumps into Ruby meta-programming tricks early on, showing some of the cool uses for Ruby code that generates other Ruby code.

I had an issue getting Io installed on my MacBook - it kept complaining while trying to compile some kind of image library. But, I have a weird MacPorts set up, so I'm not too surprised by this. I compiled it easily on an Ubuntu box and was able to get started with the examples. Io reminds me of how much I like the (awesome, hidden) power of JavaScript.

How's everyone else doing so far? Need help getting anything installed? Found any particular language features or quirks that you love or hate? Have you already written some awesome apps in a new language? Let us know!

--Marty

Marty McGuire

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Feb 2, 2011, 3:11:08 PM2/2/11
to Baltimore Node Discussion
Hello Again,

I am writing to remind you that the next Node Book Club meeting is now one week away!!!


On Feb 9th at 7:30pm we'll meet at the Node to discuss Bruce Tate's "Seven Languages in Seven Weeks".

If you start now, and compress each week into 1 day, you can finish up the book just in time. Etc.

I have been a bit of a slacker and haven't done more than browse through the languages after Ruby, but I plan to get back on it this evening.

How are all you other slackers doing? ;)

Discuss!

--Marty

Luke Orland

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Feb 2, 2011, 9:47:29 PM2/2/11
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Marty,

I've gotten through Ruby day 1, that's it so far :-(
I'll see how far I can get in the dwindling few days left before the deadline.

-Luke

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Colin Freas

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Feb 3, 2011, 11:02:08 AM2/3/11
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I read through the intro/day 1 of most of the languages... skipping around a lot.

Let's meet Wednesday and see where we're all at.  If we want to, we can give the book another month, or switch to another, or put this one and another on the reading list for March.

The big thing to me is to not get discouraged if, like Luke and I, you haven't gotten far in whatever book is on the reading list.

Marty mentioned that we need to keep a discussion going about the book we're reading, which, clearly we haven't so far.

So, on Wednesday, lets:
  • talk & discuss 7 Languages (however far along we each are)
  • figure out if we want to give it another month, pick a different book, or pick an additional book
  • figure out ways to keep the discussion going between book group meetings
Also, I've never been in a "book club" before.  When I first proposed this, I was really looking for ways to broaden and deepen my programming skills by committing, along with a peer group, to reading a book each month.  Let's give the whole idea and our format a think between now and Wednesday.  Maybe come up with one crazy and one conservative way we could improve the group, and we can bang those around a bit.

Either way, please come out Wednesday, and cross your fingers for non-crap weather.

-Colin

Ben Liyanage

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Feb 3, 2011, 3:15:53 PM2/3/11
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Generally speaking, the (non-technical) book clubs I've attended very
rarely have everyone finish the book, unless it was a really good
book. The forum is more about either letting the one person who read
the book be didactic about it, or letting the people who have read
some or all of the book discuss the parts they found interesting. If
you didn't finish the book because it got boring on chapter 3, and you
sit at a book club where everyone said the tempo picked up at chapter
5 and it had an awesome ending, maybe you'll go back and finish it
now. Or maybe you just skip to a section that sounded interesting.
Or maybe you decide you don't need to finish the book at all.

It's not like a class where you're graded on whether you finished and
comprehended the book or not.

On Feb 3, 11:02 am, Colin Freas <colinfr...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I read through the intro/day 1 of most of the languages... skipping around a
> lot.
>
> Let's meet Wednesday and see where we're all at.  If we want to, we can give
> the book another month, or switch to another, or put this one and another on
> the reading list for March.
>
> The big thing to me is to not get discouraged if, like Luke and I, you
> haven't gotten far in whatever book is on the reading list.
>
> Marty mentioned that we need to keep a discussion going about the book we're
> reading, which, clearly we haven't so far.
>
> So, on Wednesday, lets:
>
>    - talk & discuss 7 Languages (however far along we each are)
>    - figure out if we want to give it another month, pick a different book,
>    or pick an additional book
>    - figure out ways to keep the discussion going between book group
>    meetings
>
> Also, I've never been in a "book club" before.  When I first proposed this,
> I was really looking for ways to broaden and deepen my programming skills by
> committing, along with a peer group, to reading a book each month.  Let's
> give the whole idea and our format a think between now and Wednesday.  Maybe
> come up with one crazy and one conservative way we could improve the group,
> and we can bang those around a bit.
>
> Either way, please come out Wednesday, and cross your fingers for non-crap
> weather.
>
> -Colin
>
> On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 9:47 PM, Luke Orland <orl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Marty,
>
> > I've gotten through Ruby day 1, that's it so far :-(
> > I'll see how far I can get in the dwindling few days left before the
> > deadline.
>
> > -Luke
>
> > On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 3:11 PM, Marty McGuire <schmartiss...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > > Hello Again,
>
> > > I am writing to remind you that the next Node Book Club meeting is now
> > one
> > > week away!!!
>
> > > On Feb 9th at 7:30pm we'll meet at the Node to discuss Bruce Tate's
> > "Seven
> > > Languages in Seven Weeks".
>
> > > If you start now, and compress each week into 1 day, you can finish up
> > the
> > > book just in time. Etc.
>
> > > I have been a bit of a slacker and haven't done more than browse through
> > the
> > > languages after Ruby, but I plan to get back on it this evening.
>
> > > How are all you other slackers doing? ;)
>
> > > Discuss!
>
> > > --Marty
>
> > > On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM, Marty McGuire <schmartiss...@gmail.com>
> > schmartiss...@gmail.com>
> > > baltimore-node-dis...@googlegroups.com<baltimore-node-discussion%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com>
> > .
> > > For more options, visit this group at
> > >http://groups.google.com/group/baltimore-node-discussion?hl=en.
>
> > --
> > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> > "baltimore-node-discussion" group.
> > To post to this group, send email to
> > baltimore-no...@googlegroups.com.
> > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> > baltimore-node-dis...@googlegroups.com<baltimore-node-discussion%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com>
> > .
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