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code kata

This episode of the teachmetocode podcast, Dave talks us through the process he and Andy Hunt went through in founding the Pragmatic Programmers book series and publishing company. Dave also talks about the the advantages that they have had by not holding onto or being mired down by the way things have always been done and their growth in non-conventional book selling channels.

He also mentioned that if you would like them to come do training where you’re at, contact Mike Clark and find people who are willing to sit in on the course.

I think my favorite part of the interview was his explanation of where the Agile Manifesto came from. We also got to talk about what Agile development really is.

Dave explains the correlation between his musical interests and his programming interests. He figures that at least 30-40% of speakers at any conference would have some sort of musical background. The structure and the way things come together in music actually applies to software. You create patterns or structures that work well together at multiple levels.

Toward the beginning of the Pragmatic Programmers, Dave and Andy recommend learning a new language every year. He discusses his hobby of picking up new programming languages and investing in yourself.

Finally, I asked Dave about running a business and how to get one started. He gave some terrific advice regarding building your own application and business.

He wrapped up the episode by pointing out that programming is exceptionally hard. You have a huge amount of information you have to know in order to get into programming. On top of it, the world is complicated and makes the problems we have to solve hard. So, ultimately, make it fun!

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Here is the link to my blog post about coding exercises.

Here’s a short list of the coding exercises that are out there.

Here’s an awesome example of a code kata:

Programming exercises are terrific with a mentor. Check out the episode on mentors.

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During the interview with James, we talked about several things. You can find him on twitter at

James ran the RubyQuiz for 3 years and wrote Best of Ruby Quiz Volume One (Pragmatic Programmers) and Textmate: Power Editing for the Mac (Pragmatic Programmers).

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This episode is my interview with Gregg Pollack. We had a great discussion about podcasting and podcast styles, users’ groups, what makes a good developer, Envy Labs, and a whole lot more. Here are links to several of the things we discuss.

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Gregg Pollack posted this video to the Envy Labs Blog. It’s a terrific example of Test Driven Development. Here is the video and 8 lessons you should learn from it.

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Yesterday at the last URUG meeting, one of the presenters talked to us about Ruby threading and then got us started on an exercise building a chat server using threading. The exercise was enlightening and really cemented the concepts for a lot of the people there. So, I thought I’d share three sites that provide programming exercises to help you become a better programmer.

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