Happy new year! What tech topics do you think will be the focus of 2021?

@AstonJ you are a :star: thank you very much for mentioning me and the book! Have you ever considered an agent career? :stuck_out_tongue:

On a more serious note - the book itself focuses on real world usage of Elixir and OTP - I’m using a handful of Elixir libraries but 90%+ of contents of both book and the videos revolve around creating supervision trees, sending messages between processes, autostarting processes, streaming messages using PubSub etc etc. I would believe that seeing those problems and how solutions for them could be designed(thinking process) and implemented could benefit both audiences(Erlang and Elixir developers). It’s a great point that I could widen my audience and I will surely try to do that - just need to get that book / video course finished :wink:

I don’t want to take over this topic, thank you once again for the mention, I’m truly humbled.

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Advanced tooling and new runtimes.

Examples: a brand new BEAM VM (Erlang, Elixir) or tools to effortlessly change parts of projects.

It’s my belief that most dynamic languages are peaking and will need a fresh investment of new ergonomics to keep them used and loved.


EDIT: A book on tools like semgrep – when it matures, unclear if it’s going to happen in 2021 – might be extremely important at one point. Current dev tooling has been stagnating for years and it is still rather underwhelming. People are aware of it and are trying to improve the status quo, but nothing much has happened still.

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You’re welcome Kamil! I am sure it’s going to be a great book and it’s certainly a topic that more and more people are becoming interested in :smiley:

A secret agent, perhaps? :sunglasses:

Awesome - sounds neat! I agree that it could well be interesting to a lot of people in all of the BEAM languages!

No problem at all - you should start a dedicated thread for it in our #backend-developer-forum:backend-learning-resources section :+1:

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Hi @CinderellaMan,

Thanks for the topic suggestions. I have had several cryptocurrency book proposals come through, but I haven’t had any luck with signing one. The topic is not one that the proposal committee seems to like. Elixir, however, is topic area we do publish in. If you are interested in publishing Create a cryptocurrency trading bot in Elixir with us, please get in touch directly: margaret.eldridge@pragprog.org. Here’s a link to the proposal form.

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@dimitarvp Thanks for the topic suggestions. Forgive my non-programmer mind, but I don’t quite understand what the books would be. I’m an English major / book editor with no programming experience (unless you count XML, HTML, and snippets of Javascript in PDF forms). What would the books teach programmers to do? Build a new BEAM VM? Develop new tools? Or are you saying wait for those things to be developed and mature enough, and then cover them in books?

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Mostly that, yes.

As a person who deals with human language writing, imagine this: you say to a machine “make a paragraph describing a character’s morning: they make coffee, spill some of it, curse a little, then proceed to drink it with a toast and a strawberry jam”. And the machine makes you that paragraph which is, say, 200 words. Afterwards you are free to edit the paragraph if you want to fine-tune it.

The basic idea is captured by the quote of one writer: “I love writing books. What I hate is the damn typing work.”

I predict that in the next several years there will be an upsurge of tools that are able to partially create / remove / edit snippets of code when given similar instructions (in a much shorter form obviously, otherwise there would be no productivity gain). I believe that’s worth exploring in terms of making an educational material for – when these tools arrive and gain traction.

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@ohm what topics specifically are you wanting as far as productivity and work process? We are going to be distributing 3 new books by Johanna Rothman by early March:
Modern Management Made Easy book 1
Modern Management Made Easy book 2
Modern Management Made Easy book 3

As for Ruby, I’d love to work with you on a book proposal if you want to do something. We just published the third edition of Chris Pine’s Learn to Program, which uses Ruby, so it is still a topic we are publishing on, though I think there is some skepticism about its long-term interest level. Maybe a project-based book like building a web app prototype with Ruby 3? We can explore ideas if you want to get in touch (margaret.eldridge@pragprog.org).

For PWAs do you think the topic should be about converting existing apps to the PWA model, or starting from scratch to build PWAs, or something else? Also, framework-free or using a framework, and which language(s)?

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@dimitarvp what you describe sounds similar to a low code/no code concept.

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Yes, the ideas have a lot in common. I don’t mean exactly like “don’t write code but still have a working app” but more like “have a hand-crafted code project but also have tools that can manipulate parts of it for you”.

I’d welcome books on low-code and no-code tools as well, by the way!

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@dimitarvp I had a proposal on low code/no code but it didn’t fly. I think the main objections to doing a book were that it would have to be platform-specific to be hands-on and would be out of date too quickly. I wish there was a way to overcome this objection because I think it is a up and coming topic that lots of people are interested in – perhaps even just for prototyping a product quickly.

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That is sadly a good objection because a number of these tools come and go these days, and those who stick around are usually quite old and not “sexy” in the eyes of the publishers.

As a programmer I completely agree – this is something that will gain more traction in the next years.

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I’m (re)reading Jeff Sutherland Scrum book at the moment. I’ve also just finished The Phoenix Project. Both books talk about how to manage a team and how to make them effective and productive. We just introduced Scrum at my current work, so I am extra interested in how it can help a team grow.

I think what I wanted was more great ideas on how to work efficiently and productively.


It could be fun to write a book on how to use Ruby 3.0’s Ractor framework to write a webserver. Maybe it’s too low-level?

Writing your own Rails aka Model/View/Controller structure could be great, but I don’t see the (book) value in doing so in Ruby 3 vs 2.

Because RBS and TypeProf are new for Ruby 3, they could also be interesting to use for a project.


For PWA I was mainly thinking about how to use it for building something from scratch. Usually it’s something you need to think into the foundation of your app, since it dictates how all data should be transferred or not transferred in the future.

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Thanks for the clarification. I will look for someone to write a C++ book. I have one author in mind – just don’t know if he has time to write.

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@ohm I think you are on to something by focusing on a book with an example project that plays to the new features in Ruby 3. Shoot me an email if it is something you are up to doing. We have short format books as little as 50 pages long.

For working more efficiently and productively in new Scrum teams, I’m going to ask @toddmiller and @RyanRipley what books they recommend. They are the authors of #book-fixing-your-scrum and have another book in the works (too soon to talk about).

For PWA, that gives me a starting point, though I don’t have any connections / people to ask to write on the topic.

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Hi @ohm! I’m actually tempted to recommend our book - Fixing Your Scrum. We spend a lot of time looking at real-world examples and provide quite a few tips, tricks, and tools that help teams align around their products and use Scrum effectively. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the recommendation, @RyanRipley.

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This thread :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:

I’m so excited about the prospect of some of you becoming published authors!! :orange_heart:

I can definitely vouch for those mentioned above too, Margaret :blush:

@ohm ran one of the first Rails forums and when I found that I was too busy with the Elixir Forum, he kindly took over the running of the Ruby forum I was running at the time. He’s been a Ruby dev for quite a while so will have seen a lot of what’s been and gone, and what’s coming up - that angle will be quite beneficial for a Ruby 3 book imo.

Although I haven’t known @CinderellaMan anywhere nearly as long I’ve known Ohm, Kamil is a well-liked member of the Elixir community and you can see how popular his video series was here. There’s also quite a bit of interest in Cryptocurrencies right now (and I would definitely include a chapter or two explaining exactly what they are and all of the in/outs etc).

I wouldn’t bet against Ruby :smiley: Ruby is one of those languages that I think will be around for a very long time, and as we’ve seen with Ruby 3, it is getting better and better all the time. The Ruby community is also one of the most passionate I have ever known, and I am sure they will continue to refine and push Ruby over the years, even in the face of languages being created or backed by huge tech giants.

Have you thought about reading @chrispine’s book Margaret? I highly recommend it! I think after reading it, you may well become hooked! :nerd_face:

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Thanks @RyanRipley. I just bought it. Delivery in 5-6 days. :sweat_smile:

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Yes, I really should read Chris Pine’s book #book-learn-to-program-2nd-edition. I have poked around on the Ruby website and tried their browser-based tutorial at https://try.ruby-lang.org/, which is fun. It is just a matter of making time to go through it. I am a sailor, and spend a lot of my leisure time either on the water or fixing something on my boat. Right now it is troubleshooting the bilge pump. But I want to get to both Ruby and Python (eventually).

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That’s awesome @ohm! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the book.

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