February’s Packt Publishing Prize Draw

7 Feb

Get out of your comfort zone

It’s too easy to get stuck in a rut. You find something you’re good at and stick with it. You keep doing it again and again until you have it perfected. Then you discover that it’s all become a little stale. The world is moving on and you haven’t been keeping up.

Now that 2012 is well under way perhaps it’s time to try something new. This months selection of books present some skills that you may have neglected or did’t realise you needed.

If you want a chance to win your choice of book then go and RSVP to this months Prize Draw Meetup. The winner will get to choose a print edition and the runner up selects an ebook.

Build a User Interface

When was the last time you built a GUI? If, like me, you spend most of your time in the middleware worrying about APIs you might find things have changed. User Interfaces are no longer bound to the desktop with windows, icons, mice and pointers. They’ve gone mobile with touch interfaces.

Google Inventor for Powerful Android Apps

Google App Inventor is still unpacking boxes at its new MIT home. While your waiting you can see how a user interface can be built by pushing together blocks and not having to write any code. Take a look at the video to see what the future of development might be like.

Learning Vladdin

Vaadin is a web framework build on GWT with a solid rich server side. If you’re a back end person who finds Javascript running on the client a little distasteful then it might be to your liking. Again, there’s a video to watch. That’s how it is with these UI guys.

Manage a Cluster

Do you give much thought to what happens to your code once you’ve built and deployed it? You should, because with ever expanding datacentre clusters supporting the cloud everything is changing.

Puppet 2.7 Cookbook

How many servers do you have? How do you manage them? Do you still start and stop them individually? Using Puppet you can deploy thousands of Tomcat servers. You may not have that many yet, but it’s probably just be a matter of time.

CF Engine 3: Beginners Guide

If you’re new to configuration management then perhaps you’d prefer to work through this beginners guide for CF Engine, the original that inspired them all.


Are you still building systems one line at a time? Sure, it’s great fun but it takes such a long time. it’s just so unfashionable these days. The cool kids are mashing it up while the grown ups in suites are busy leveraging their existing assets.

Pentaho Data Integration 4 Cookbook

Ther’s only one thing multiplying faster than the servers in your data centre and that’s the data they hold. Pentaho‘s Kettle provides an open source engine for the extraction, transformation and loading of data.  You’re next data migration could be so much easier.

Google Apps: Master Integration and Customization

What do you see when looking at the cloud? Six legged pigs or the starship enterprise? Not any more. The cloud is now full of app servers, spreadsheets, federated identities and provisioning APIs. They’re just floating about waiting for you to put them together.

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