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Two’s Complement

21 Aug

If you want to have a chance of winning one of this months books then please sign up on the Meetup page.  

At the end of July the lucky winner will get a physical copy with an ebook for the runner up.

Two’s Complement

Just getting code to work on your machine isn’t enough. There are many other vital skills that complement coding.

This month we are looking at books that address these important complementary. Tools and skills for operations, project management and web design.

Dev Ops

Gone are the days when developers threw their code over the wall for the operations teams to sort out. Continuous integration into virtualised environments requires close collabortaion and sophisticated tooling.

Implementing VMware Horizon View 5.2

by Jason Ventresco

VMware Horizon View helps you simplify desktop and application management while increasing security and control. This book will introduce you to all of the components of the VMware Horizon View suite, walk you through their deployment, and show how they are used. We will also discuss how to assess your virtual desktop resource requirements, and build an optimized virtual desktop.

“Implementing VMware Horizon View 5.2” will provide you the information needed to deploy and administer your own end-user computing infrastructure. This includes not only the View components themselves, but key topics such as assessing virtual desktop resource needs, and how to optimize your virtual desktop master image.

You will learn how to design and deploy a performant, flexible and powerful desktop virtualization solution using VMware Horizon View. You will implement important components and features, such as VMware View Connection Server, VMware View Composer, VMware View Transfer Server, and VMware View Security Server.

Puppet 3 Beginner’s Guide

by John Arundel

Everyone’s talking about Puppet, the open-source DevOps technology that lets you automate your server setups and manage websites, databases, and desktops. Puppet can build new servers in seconds, keep your systems constantly up to date, and automate daily maintenance tasks.

“Puppet 3 Beginner’s Guide” gets you up and running with Puppet straight away, with complete real world examples. Each chapter builds your skills, adding new Puppet features, always with a practical focus. You’ll learn everything you need to manage your whole infrastructure with Puppet.

“Puppet 3 Beginner’s Guide” takes you from complete beginner to confident Puppet user, through a series of clear, simple examples, with full explanations at every stage.

Through a series of worked examples introducing Puppet to a fictional web company, you’ll learn how to manage every aspect of your server setup. Switching to Puppet needn’t be a big, long-term project; this book will show you how to start by bringing one small part of your systems under Puppet control and, little by little, building to the point where Puppet is managing your whole infrastructure.


Projects are no longer managed in spreadsheets and GANT charts in locked rooms. The whole team takes responsibility for ensuring that everything gets done, and that needs the support of a good tool like Jira.

JIRA 5.2 Essentials

by Patrick Li

Atlassian’s JIRA provides issue tracking and project tracking for software development teams to aid speed of development and quality of code. This book will show you how to develop software more efficiently by planning, designing, and customizing your own JIRA implementation.

JIRA is a popular issue tracking product designed for better bug tracking, issue tracking, and project management. JIRA 5.2 Essentials provides a comprehensive guide covering everything you will need to plan, set up, design, customize, and manage your software development projects efficiently and to a professional standard.

In this practical book you will learn how to design and implement JIRA for project and issue tracking. You will jump into the installation and design of JIRA before going through the required techniques to effectively manage issues that threaten your software development project.

JIRA 5.x Development Cookbook

by Jobin Kuruvilla

JIRA provides issue tracking and project tracking for software development teams to improve code quality and the speed of development.

“JIRA 5.x Development Cookbook” is a one stop resource to master extensions and customizations in JIRA. You will learn how to create your own JIRA plugins, customize the look and feel of your JIRA UI, work with workflows, issues, custom fields, and much more.

“JIRA 5.x Development Cookbook” starts with recipes on simplifying the plugin development process followed by a complete chapter dedicated to the plugin framework to master plugins in JIRA.

Then we will move on to writing custom field plugins to create new field types or custom searchers. We then learn how to program and customize workflows to transform JIRA into a user friendly system.

Responsive Web Design

First there were desktops, then mobiles, then tablets, then mini tablets, then phablets…

Thankfully, responsible web design allows us to craft user interfaces that provide an optimal viewing experience across the every growing range of devices.

HTML5 and CSS3 Responsive Web Design Cookbook

by Benjamin LaGrone

The Internet is going mobile. Desktop computer sales keep falling as the mobile device marketplace burgeons. Web development methods are rapidly changing to adapt to this new trend. HTML5 and CSS3 Responsive Web Design Cookbook, for all of today’s wireless Internet devices, gives developers a new toolbox for staying connected with this on-the-run demographic.

HTML5 and CSS3 Responsive Web Design Cookbook is the programmer’s resource for generating websites that effortlessly interface with modern mobile devices. Using its clear instructions you can create responsive applications that make snappy connections for mobile browsers and give your website the latest design and development advantages for reaching mobile devices.

HTML5 and CSS3 Responsive Web Design Cookbook is full of how-to recipes for site enhancements and optimizing your sites for the latest devices and the mobile Web.

Responsive Web Design by Example

by Thoriq Firdaus

By following the detailed step-by-step instructions in this structured reference guide, you will learn how you can build engaging responsive websites. With coverage of Bootstrap, Skeleton, and Zurb Foundation you’ll learn about three of the most powerful responsive frameworks available today.

Leading you through by practical example, you’ll find that this essential reference develops your understanding by actually helping you create beautiful websites step by step in front of your very eyes. After going over the basics, you’ll be able to choose between creating your own responsive portfolio page with Skeleton, building a stunning product page with Bootstrap, or setting up your own professional business website with Zurb Foundation. Ultimately you’ll learn how to decide which framework is right for you, and how you can deploy and customize it to your exact specifications!


Time To Play

19 Jul

If you want to have a chance of winning one of this months books then please sign up on the Meetup page.  

At the end of July the lucky winner will get a physical copy with an ebook for the runner up.

Summer Is Here

Its Time To Play

The summer is here. The sun is shining. The sky is blue and there isn’t a cloud to spoil the view.

That’s why there is no better time to stay indoors and play with your computer.

You work all day with Java, so there isn’t any this month. We have Javascript, Lua, Scala and hardware but no Java.

Write A Game To Play

HTML5 Game Development with ImpactJS

by Davy Cielen and Arno Meysman

ImpactJS is a JavaScript library specially geared towards building 2-dimensional games. It is intuitive and versatile and allows the game developer to get results in no time while keeping an easy overview when games grow more complex. Games built with ImpactJS can be published on websites and even as an app on both Android and iOS.

With “HTML5 Game Development with ImpactJS”, building games for the Web and app markets has never been so easy. Using the ImpactJS JavaScript engine, you only need this book and basic knowledge of JavaScript in order to build and publish your own game.

Developing Mobile Games with Moai SDK

by Francisco Tufró

Code mobile games in Lua using Moai.

Its a fast, minimalist, open-source Lua mobile framework for pro game developers. Moai is built around Lua, a common programming language for games, and offers a single open-source platform for both the front-end elements seen by consumers and the back-end infrastructure.

Developing Mobile Games with Moai SDK will guide you through the creation of two game prototypes in a step-by-step way, giving you the basic tools you need in order to create your own games.

Play With Some New Web Technologies

Learning Play! Framework 2

by Andy Petrella

What better technology is there better to play with than Play!

The Learning Play! Framework 2 has been created for web developers that are building web applications. The core idea is to focus on the HTTP features and to enable them through a simplification lens. Building a web application no longer requires a configuration phase, an environment setup, or a long development lifecycle – it’s integrated!

Learning Play! Framework 2 will enable any web developers to create amazing web applications taking advantage of the coolest features. It’s the fastest way to dive into Play!, focusing on the capabilities by using them in a sample application. Although essentially Java based code, a Scala version is presented as well – giving an opportunity to see some Scala in action.

Socket.IO Real-time Web Application Development

by Rohit Rai

The expectations of users for interactivity with web applications have changed over the past few years. No more does the user want to press the refresh button to check if new messages have arrived in their inbox; people expect to see updates in their applications in real-time. Mass multiplayer online games have given up the requirement of plugins and are built entirely in JavaScript. enables you to build these highly interactive applications that work cross-browser.

“ Real-time Web Application Development” is a guide to building, deploying, and scaling highly interactive real-time web applications using This book will guide you through the building of a chat system using Node.js and, helping you get familiar with various features of the framework. Going further it will empower you to deploy and scale your applications in production.

Play With Some Raspberry PI

Raspberry Pi Networking Cookbook

by Rick Golden

The Raspberry Pi is more than just a platform for teaching students how to program computers! The recipes in this book show you how this inexpensive computer can be used out of the box for a number of practical solutions that utilise existing networks and connectivity.

The Raspberry Pi Networking Cookbook is an essential reference full of practical solutions for use both at home and in the office. Beginning with step-by-step instructions for installation and configuration, this book can either be read from cover to cover or treated as an essential reference companion to your Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi Media Center

by Sam Nazarko

Low-cost and high-performing, with a massively diverse range of uses and applications, the Raspberry Pi is set to revolutionise the way we think about computing and programming. Using it as a Media Centre allows everyone to have a low-cost device that is always on, attached to their TV.

Imagine controlling your TV with your smartphone, dynamically streaming content that you have on various devices across your home, as and when you want. Raspberry Pi Media Centre will show you how to configure the complete experience using readily available and accessible tools, so that you too will soon be enjoying your media from the comfort of your own sofa.

Behaviour Driven Development with JavaScript Give Away

20 Jun

“BDD has many different aspects. Which of them are important depends on your perspective.”

We are teaming up again with, a fledgling book publisher that is changing the way books for software developers are produced.

They specialise in digital books, written by leading experts from across the software development ecosystem. The short format books they produce give you access to key technical know-how for less than the price of a cup of coffee!

This time around we are giving away a mature and enlightening insight into “Behaviour Driven Development with JavaScript” by Marco Emrich (winners will be able to request their desired e-format). Absolutely rammed full of excellent information, the book is nevertheless extremely well paced and reads very easily.

Behaviour Driven Development With JavaScript by Marco Emrich

TO WIN: Simply jump onto the competition section the LJC Book Club Google+ community and +1 the corresponding post!

2 lucky winners will then be picked on Thursday 27th June 2013!

This book is really rich with content (catch the Skimmer’s Guide here) and we are really excited for this and future give-aways with! Watch this space and check out more from this fantastic new publisher on FacebookGoogle+Twitter and their blog:

The Web Keeps Spinning

18 Jun

If you want to have a chance of winning one of this months books then please sign up on the Meetup page.  

At the end of June the lucky winner will get a physical copy with an ebook for the runner up.

The Web Keeps Spinning

It Just Won’t Stop Spinning


Web created by a spider exposed to caffeine

Next year the world wide web will be a quarter of a century old.  Since it’s birth at CERN back in 1989 it hasn’t stopped moving, changing, evolving or revolving.  From clunky desktops in labs to the phone in your pocket change has been the only constant.  This month we are looking at books that can help us get to grips with the web’s latest developments.

Scala Out Back

Scala promises to improve productivity by providing us with a rich, expressive language with strong domain specific support.  Frameworks are being built to deliver on that promise.

Learning Play! Framework 2

by Andy Petrella

The Play framework promises to make it faster and easier to build web applications that scale reliably while supporting both web and mobile clients.

Akka Essentials

by Munish K. Gupta

Akka is a toolkit and runtime for building highly concurrent, distributed, and fault tolerant event-driven applications on the JVM.

HTML5 Up Front

HTML5 Enterprise Application Development

by Nehal Shah, Gabriel José Balda Ortíz

HTML5 has been a trending topic for a long time, but the lack of Flash support on iOS devices has sped up its penetration. New features in HTML5 come at a time when web developers are pushing the limits of what is achievable and HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript have become an important alternative for building rich user interfaces.

HTML5 Canvas Cookbook

by Eric Rowell

The HTML5 canvas is revolutionizing graphics and visualizations on the Web. Powered by JavaScript, the HTML5 Canvas API enables web developers to create visualizations and animations right in the browser without Flash. Although the HTML5 Canvas is quickly becoming the standard for online graphics and interactivity, many developers fail to exercise all of the features that this powerful technology has to offer.

Getting the User Experience Right

Selenium Testing Tools Cookbook

by Unmesh Gundecha

Selenium automates browsers. That’s it. What you do with that power is entirely up to you. Primarily it is for automating web applications for testing purposes, but is certainly not limited to just that. Boring web-based administration tasks can (and should!) also be automated as well.

Responsive Web Design by Example

by Thoriq Firdaus

Responsive web design is an explosive area of growth in modern web development due to the huge volume of different device sizes and resolutions that are now commercially available. You can now create your very own responsive website quickly and efficiently, allowing you to showcase your content in a format that will work on any device with an Internet browser.

Becoming Data Scientists – May’s Packt Publishing Competition

14 May

If you want to have a chance of winning one of this months books then please sign up on the Meetup page.  

At the end of May the lucky winner will get a physical copy with an ebook for the runner up.

Data Science

Why Your Next HR Hire Should Be a Data Scientist @

Why Your Next HR Hire Should Be a Data Scientist @

The role of Data Scientist is new and important.  Big Data is seen as the key area for innovation, and the Data Scientist is a key role in putting Big Data to work.

So who are the Data Scientists, what do they do and does it include skills that we as developers may want to acquire?

The Data Scientist mines data for useful insights.  It’s a role that is closely related to the Computer Scientist, the role often fulfilled by developers like us.

Last month we looked at the tools used by the Computer Scientist, this month we look at the skills and tools needed by the Data Scientist.

The Data Scientist Role

In his Book “Data Visualisation – a Successful Design Process” Andy Kirk identifies the “Eight Hats” of data visualisation design:

  • The Initiator – The leader who is seeks a solution.
  • The Data Scientist – The data miner, wearing a miners hat, discovering nuggets of insight buried deep within the numbers.
  • The Journalist – the story teller who refines the insight with narrative and context.
  • The Computer Scientist – The person who breaths life into the project with their breadth of software and programming literacy.
  • The Designer – With an eye for visual detail and a flair for innovation they work with the computer scientist to ensure harmony between form and function.
  • The Cognitive Scientist – Brings an understanding of visual perception, colour theories and human-computer interaction to inform the design process.
  • The Communicator – The negotiator and presenter who acts as the client-customer-designer gateway.
  • The Project Manager – The co-ordinator who picks up the unpopular duties and makes sure that the project is cohesive, on time and on message.

These are hats, and we will probably find ourselves wearing several of them over time. As you can see, Data Visualisation requires us to pull together a range of disciplines in order to achieve something meaningful.

Last month we focused on the skills of the Computer Scientist, looking at the skills needed to pull the data out of the repository and put it in front of the audience.

Miner Willy

Data Scientists are Data Miners

This month we are looking at the skills of the Data Scientist. Here’s Kirk’s full description:

The data scientist is characterized as the data miner, wearing the miner’s hat. They are responsible for sourcing, acquiring, handling, and preparing the data. This means demonstrating the technical skills to work with data sets large and small and of many different types. Once acquired, the data scientist is responsible for examining and preparing the data. In this proposed skill set model, it is the data scientist who will hold the key statistical and mathematical knowledge and they will apply this to undertake exploratory visual analysis to learn about the patterns, relationships, and descriptive properties of the data.

From Chapter 2 of Data Visualisation – A Successful Design Process

Last month we talked about data being the new soil.  The data scientist is a miner who digs down deep.  It is a pivotal roll in the design process. Kirk elaborates further:

If we don’t have the data we want, or the data we do have doesn’t tell us what we hoped it would, or the findings we unearth aren’t as interesting as we wish them to be there is nothing we can (legitimately) do about it. That is an important factor to remember. No amount of 3D-snazzy-cool-fancy-design dust sprinkled on to a project can change that.

An incomplete, error strewn or just plain dull dataset will simply contaminate your visualization with the same properties. So, the primary duty for us now is to avoid this happening, remove all guessing and hoping, and just get on with the task of acquiring our data and immerse ourselves into it to learn about its condition, its characteristics, and the potential stories it contains.

From Chapter 3 of Data Visualisation – A Successful Design Process

This month we’re going to look at some of the tools we can use as Data Scientists to immerse ourselves in the data. Tools that will help us to interact with our data, drill down into it’s seams and discover what nuggets lie within.

If you want to have a chance of winning one of this months books then please sign up on the Meetup page. At the end of May the lucky winner will get to choose a physical copy and the runner up can select an ebook.

Data Visualisation

Data Visualisation: a successful design process

For a second month we are going to look at Andy Kirk’s “Data Visualisation – a Successful Design Process.” It’s a great introduction to using Data Visualisation in your applications and the key text behind this series of competitions.

Kirk provides us with a structured approach to what can appear like a dark art. The task of data familiarisation, for example, is organised into the following steps:

  1. Acquisition – Getting hold of the data.
  2. Examination – Assessing the data’s completeness and fitness.
  3. Data Types – Understanding the properties of the raw material. (Not to be confused with Data Types in our code.)
  4. Transforming for Quality – Tidying and cleaning, filling in the gaps.
  5. Transforming for Analysis – Preparing and refining for final use.
  6. Consolidating – Bringing it all together, mashing it up with other sources.

From Chapter 3 of Data Visualisation – A Successful Design Process

Learning Highcharts for Javascript Data Visualisation

Highcharts allows the creation of sophisticated, interactive visualisations.

Let’s start at the ending: the consolidation of data to create an effective visualisation, like the one above.

Last month we looked at using HTML5 directly for producing our data visualisations. This month we’re going to look at Highcharts, a Javascript library built on top of HTML5 to provide stunning interactive charts with a lot less effort. It’s free for non-commercial use.

Highcharts provides interactivity, allowing the user’s to become data scientists and explore the data for themselves.

This is an easy approach for simple data mining needs, but the real value is in mining the rich seams of complex data through Data Analysis.  For this some powerful tools are needed.

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Cookbook

Chapter 5 talks about distributed processing with Hadoop

Anybody looking for a ‘real world’ use of Clojure should take a look at the Incanter libraries and the practical value they provide in the first phases of Data Science.  This is a Clojure cookbook that is full of solid, practical recipes for dealing with large datasets.  It shows you how to go beyond spreadsheets to deal with data on new scales of size and complexity.

The book is particularly strong on recipes for acquisition and transformation for quality and analysis.  The first chapter will show you how to pull in your data from a whole range of data sources, including JSON, XML, CSV, JDBC and Excel.  The second chapter will show you how to clean up your data with tools like regular expressions, synonym maps, custom data type parsers and the Valip validation library.

Eric Rochester’s Cookbook provides sound, practical recipes.  If you want to practical introduction to Data Analysis that will get you up, running and productive quickly then this is the place to start.

It also touches on a whole range of other related topics, such parallel programming, distributed processing and machine learning.

It isn’t so strong on the theoretical side of data analysis.  There’s a whistlestop tour of linear and non-linear relationships, Bayesian distributions and Bneford’s law in chapter 7.  Chapter 9 introduces Weka for machine learning.  In between chapter 8 shows you how to interface with Mathematica or R.

Statistical Analysis with R – Beginners Guide

A grouping of several plots displayed in the graphic window

If you want to learn more about the theory of data analysis you may want to consider working with R directly. R is the lingua franca of statistics and learning it will give you access to a wealth of resources available on the web.

In this Beginners guide the authors R John and M. Quick will show you how to get up and running with R.  The material is more abstract, with talk of standard deviations, linear models and ANOVA.  However, the authors make it more entertaining with a bit of role play.  Your are the lead strategist for a kingdom who must gather your intelligence, prepare the battle plans and brief the emperor and his generals.

When it comes to learning the mathematical theory the book doesn’t go much deeper than the Data Analysis Cookbook.  However, it does present the information in an entertaining way and by learning R you open the door to working directly with a tool used by mathematicians rather than programmers.

Big Data

Statistical analysis has been around for a long time, but it is now being performed with more data than ever before.  Companies like Google and Facebook are now working with data on an unprecedented scale and that is why there is so much buzz about Big Data.

If you want to work with Big Data, processing massive data sets measured in the terabytes, then the essential tool to learn is Map Reduce.

MapReduce Cookbook


More advanced MapReduce scenarios are described.

The authors are well qualified.  Srinath Perera is a Senior Software Architect at WSO2 and has a Ph.D.  Thilina Gunarathne is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Informatics and Computing of Indiana University.  The have provided 90 recipes, presented in a simple and straightforward manner, with step-by-step instructions and real world examples.  These recipes guide you through the complex business of getting Hadoop up and running and then not only demonstrate what MapReduce is but how it can be applied to problems such as analytics, indexing, searching, classification and text processing on a massive scale.  Along the way you will be exposed to the tools and techniques that are fundamental to working with big data.

Infinispan Data Grid Platform

While Hadoop is implemented in Java, and offers a Java API it doesn’t reallly sit within the Java ecosystem.  Using Hadoop requires the learning of a whole new eco system.  To use it properly you’ll need to get to know complementary apache projects such as HBase, Hive, and Pig.

If you want to get to be able to experiment with MapReduce and distributed computing while staying firmly within the Java ecosystem then consider the Infispan data grid platform.  Installing Infinispan is as easy as installing jBoss AS7 and you can use it to provide persistance for your standard CDI applications without alteration.  The authors are Java people.  Francesco Marchioni has written several books on the JBoss application server and Manik Surtani is the specification lead of JSR 347 (Data Grids for the Java Platform).

The book offers practical guidence to get you up and running with Infinispan platform.  While none of them deal with MapReduce, they will leave you well equipped to follow the online documentation.

Presenting For Geeks Give Away

3 May

“A presentation is not about the content or about you – it’s about the audience.”

We are continuing our partnership with, a new kind of book publisher that is changing the way books for software developers are produced.

They specialise in digital books, written by leading experts from across the software development ecosystem. The short format books they produce give you access to key technical know-how for less than the price of a cup of coffee!

This time around we are giving away the wonderful and concise “Presenting for Geeks” by Dirk Haun (winners will be able to request the e-format). Reassuringly well presented, he takes us on a journey on how to convey a memorable message.

Presenting for Geeks by Dirk Haun

TO WIN: Simply jump on our Google+ community and post a comment in the corresponding post! (e.g. “I want to win Presenting for Geeks”)

2 lucky winners will then be picked on Friday 17th May 2013!

We’re really like this book (catch the Skimmer’s Guide here) and excited for future give-aways with! Watch this space and check out more from this fantastic new publisher on FacebookGoogle+Twitter and their blog:

Beautiful Data – April’s Packt Publishing Competition

9 Apr

If you want to have a chance of winning one of this months books then please sign up on the Meetup page.  

At the end of April the lucky winner will get a physical copy with an ebook for the runner up.

Data is the New Soil

Nightingale’s Rose

It has been said that “Data is the New Oil.”  In his excellent Ted Talk David McCandless tells us that “Data is the New Soil“:

It feels like we’re all suffering from information overload, or data glut. And the good news is there might be an easy solution to that, and that’s using our eyes more. So visualizing information, so that we can see the patterns and connections that matter, and then designing that information so it makes more sense, or it tells a story, or allows us to focus only on the information that’s important…. Visualizing information like this is a form of knowledge compression. It’s a way of squeezing an enormous amount of information and understanding into a small space.

There’s a lot of value in creating something that takes the information overload and transform it into a form that makes the story it tells clear.

An inspiring example of this was Florence Nightingale’s Rose Diagram, pictured above.  The lady was able to analyse and present data.  The lady of the lamp’s use of data visualisation saved countless lives:

After the war, Nightingale wrote a passionate report on why the soldiers had died in such large numbers and it revealed the astonishing fact that out of 18,000 deaths, 16,000 had been due to infectious diseases in hospital rather than battle wounds. The report included her revolutionary and controversial ‘Rose Diagram’, whose message was potent and direct – hospitals can kill. The diagram was designed to persuade the British government that, if sanitation in hospitals was improved, many deaths could be avoided. Nightingale’s pioneering diagram was a catalyst in the creation of better and cleaner hospitals that would go on to save thousands of lives.

How can we as developers use data visualisation to make a difference?  This month we shall look at books that show us how to design, display, store, access and secure data.  With these tools in hand you are ready to inspire with the beauty of data.

If you want to have a chance of winning one of this months books then please sign up on the Meetup page.  At the end of April the lucky winner will get a physical copy with an ebook for the runner up.

Visualising Data

Data Visualization: a successful design process

Andy Kirk is the author of the Visualising Data blog.  There you will find him talking about powerful visualisations like this:

Iraq’s bloody toll

His book offers a handy strategy guide to help you approach your data visualization work with greater know-how and increased confidence. It is a practical book structured around a proven methodology that will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and resources required to make sense of data, to find stories, and to tell stories from your data.

HTML5 Graphing and Data Visualization Cookbook

We are developers not graphic artists, so when it comes to telling the story from our data we won’t be reaching for our pencils.  Instead we will look to the graphs and charts provided by our user interface framework.  The widest possible audience is available using the standard components provided by HTML5.

Ben Fhala has developed applications for governments and companies and directed many award-winning projects,  He was worked on teams that have won three Agency of the Year awards.  In this cookbook he shares recipes for bringing static data to life.

Data Highs

Data visualisation applications are hungry for fast fast and reliable storage.  Here are two possible approaches: with and without sql.

High Availability MySQL Cookbook

Alex Davies covers all the major techniques available for achieving high availability for MySQL, including clustering, replication, shared storage and block level replicaiton.

Cassandra High Performance Cookbook 

Traffic Monitoring benefits from data visualisation

Edward Capriolo‘s recipes include how to access data stored in Cassandra and use third party tools to help you out. He also describes how to maintain high levels of performance through monitoring and capacity planning.

Data through the Middle

You have data in your repository feeding graphics in your user interface.  Sitting in-between is the middleware that makes the data available to the clients that need it while keeping out those who shouldn’t see it.  Here are two books that show how Spring can make working with that middleware easier.

Spring Data

Spring Data

Petri Kainulainen‘s book shows how JPA repositories can be implemented with less code. Sample project demonstrate the concepts in action.

Spring Security

User Management

Robert Winch and Peter Mularien use a simple Spring Web MVC-based application to illustrate how to solve real-world problems.

Clojure Made Simple – iBook Give Away

6 Apr

Introducing a new kind of book publisher

We have struck up a partnership with, a new kind of book publisher that is changing the way books for software developers are produced.

They specialise in digital books, written by leading experts from across the software development ecosystem. The short format books they produce give you access to key technical know-how for less than the price of a cup of coffee!

To celebrate our new partnership and their latest publication, we are giving away 10 iBook vouchers for Clojure Made Simple by our friend John ‘@jr0cket’ Stevenson!

Clojure Made Simple – Introduction to Clojure

TO WIN: All you need to do is follow @developerpress on Twitter and tweet:
‘@developerpress I want a copy of ‘Clojure Made Simple’ by @jr0cket’

(If you don’t have Twitter, you can give +Developer Press a similar shout out on Google+ and we will include this form of entry into the draw.)

10 lucky winners will then be picked on Wednesday 10th April 2013!

The book is fantastic value and full of great code examples, kudos to John on a job well done! To find out more, check out the book on the website:

We’re really excited about this and future give-aways with, watch this space and check out more from this fantastic new publisher on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and their blog:

Now For Something Completely Different: March’s Packt Publishing Competition

20 Mar

If you want to have a chance of winning one of this months books then please sign up on the Meetup page.  

This month both the winner and the runner up will receive an e-book.

Now For Something Completely Instant


When was the last time you tried something completely different?  Something that wasn’t part of what you do already?

It can be useful to try something that is completely outside what you normally do.  It helps you to see things from a different perspective and challenges you preconceptions about how things need to be.

The big problem is finding the time in a busy day to try new things.  This is why this month we are focusing on Packt Publishing’s Instant range.  They are a set of short, to the point eBooks that show you how to do something new.

Instants are eBooks only, so for this month only both the winner and the runner up will receive eBooks.  That’s different!

For a chance to win just RSVP to this month’s event.

It’s Virtual!

If you still don’t know about the virtualisation technologies then you need to read one of these guides.

Instant Citrix XenDesktop 5 Starter

Mahmoud Magdy shows how to provide virutalised desktops using XenDesktop.

Instant VMware vCloud Starter

Daniel Langenhan shows how to create a complete networked environment from templates using vCloud.

It’s Microsoft!

Are you ready to look at what Redmond have to offer?

Instant Team Foundation Server 2012 and Project Server 2010 Integration How-to

How much time do you spend integrating and setting up environments rather than coding?  Gary P. Gauvin will show you how to get these things done quickly and easily, step by step.  What took days can take hours.

Instant Silverlight 5 Animation

Silverlight might be going away, but the XAML based technology isn’t.  Nick Polyak will show you how to use animation to improve the user experience in several contexts, including business applications.

 It’s Changing

With everything changes so rapidly you can’t afford to let things go stale.

The New iPad: Using New Features in iOS 6 How-To

Does nothing stop changing these days?  That IPad you brought a while ago isn’t the same Ipad anymore.  It’s been updated with new features like multiple mailboxes, iCloud synchronisation, photostreams and a new suite of apps.  Renee J. Valdez’s concise guide will introduce you to all these new features.

InnoDB Quick Reference Guide

How we use databases is in a state of flux.  After decades of SQL stability the way we store data is being turned upside down as developers say no to SQL.

InnoDB is MySQL without the SQL.  It allows you to work directly with the storage engine.

Let Matt Reid show you how to set up, configure and use the engine.

Skimmers Guide for Week 7 of The Well Grounded Java Developer

17 Mar

Test Driven Development

“The best way to get into the TDD groove is to start practicing. ”

What did we read about?

The week we started part 4 of the book: “Crafting the polyglot project”.  We covered two chapters:

  • Chapter 11: Test-driven development
  • Chapter 12: Build and continuous integration

For test driven development we looked at the the three steps of TDD: Red, Green and Refactor.  We also read about the different types of test doubles: Dummies, Stubs, Fakes and Mocks.  Two testing frameworks were covered: jUnit and ScalaTest.

For build and continuous integration we looked at why having a standard and repeatable build is so important, remember: “friends don’t let friends build artifacts from the IDE!” We walk through using two widely used tools, Maven 3 for building and Jenkins for CI.


What stood out?


  • If you’re new to TDD then the section “TDD in a Nutshell” provides an excellent introduction.  If you are familiar with TDD you can happily skip it,
  • The section on “Test Doubles” provided an excellent overview. In the earlier chapters it was suggested that you should start introducing new languages through testing.  “Introducing ScalaTest” shows you exactly how to get started.
  •  Colourful introduction to why we need CI, which too many of us will be able to relate to!


If you read nothing else this week…


  • “Test Doubles” –  If you only ever use Mocks then you should give it a read and expand your toolkit.
  •  “Code metrics with Maven and Jenkins” – handy if you don’t know about static code analysis.