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8 Ways to Be More Professional

I don't need to tell you: the technical industry is incredibly competitive! Whether you're trying to get a job, win a contract, build your client base, or simply get your voice heard, it can be difficult to get ahead. Things get even more difficult when discrimination slips into the mix. Competition is hard enough without having to overcome stereotypes on top of everything else. I've been blessed not to have to deal with much...

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Python SnakeBytes: The Walrus Operator

The assignment expression, also known as the walrus operator (:=), was introduced in Python 3.8. An assignment expression performs assignment, while also returning the assigned value from the expression. This allows you to store and test a value in the same line. temps = [56, 72, 65, 77, 73] if ((average := sum(temps) / len(temps)) > 80): print("It sure is warm!") elif (average < 50): print("It's quite cold.") else: ...

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Dead Simple Python: Loops and Iterators

Remember the last time you lost something? You probably turned your house upside looking for it. You go through, room by room, while the people around you ask pointless questions like "where was the last place you had them?" (Seriously, if I knew that, I wouldn't be looking for them!) It'd be great to optimize your search, but your house isn't sorted...or particularly well organized, if you're anything like me. You're stuck with a...

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What Is An "Interpreted" Language?

There seems to be a considerable amount of debate about what defines an interpreted language. My view is pretty cut-and-dry: A compiled language is one that is primarily compiled to machine code which is executed natively by the CPU on most standard hardware (Intel, AMD, ARM, etc.) C, C++, and Ada are three examples of this. An interpreted language is one that is primarily executed either as source code or bytecode through a...

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Demystifying Virtual and Abstract Functions

EDIT: After some superb comments, I've made some corrections to my original code: (1) virtual destructors, and (2) use of the override and final keywords. Have you ever noticed C++'s inheritance system behaving in a way you didn't expect? Perhaps the base class's function kept getting called, and you didn't know how to have the derived class's function called instead. Or maybe you encountered some weird code in the class...

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Stealing Isn't "Sharing"

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash I love books. I have hundreds of them between my physical bookshelf and my Calibre library. My reading list is so long that I'll be as old as Methuselah before I make a dent in just the technical section, yet I'm always happy to add one more book to my collection! And I'm not atypical. I'm pretty confident that nearly everyone reading this article has the same problem. As programmers, we're pretty...

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Dead Simple Python: Iteration Power Tools

The previous section more or less ended on a cliffhanger. When we last left our hero, we'd discovered loops and iterators in Python, and tasted a bit of the potential they offer. I got a few choice words from my editors: "you left out zip() and enumerate(), and those are surely very important to any discussion on iterators!" Yes, they are, but the article was getting a bit long. Never fear, though - we're about to tackle them, and...

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All The Cool Kids Are Doing It

Blockchain... The first time I heard of it was in relation to cryptocurrency. The second time, another cryptocurrency. And then, several times later, I heard of it in context of a "decentralized internet" project called LBRY, of which I am an early user. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard of it since. Now, I recognize that this word represents some hugely vital concept in programming, which I won't even begin to...

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Dead Simple Python: Classes

Classes and objects: the bread-and-butter of many a developer. Object-oriented programming is one of the mainstays of modern programming, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Python is capable of it. But if you've done object-oriented programming in any other language before coming to Python, I can almost guarantee you're doing it wrong. Hang on to your paradigms, folks, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Class Is In...

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Dead Simple Python: Lambdas, Decorators, and Other Magic

Python has a reputation for looking like magic, and that's probably due in part to the many forms a function can take: lambdas, decorators, closures, and more. A well-placed function call can do amazing things, without ever writing a single class! You might say Functions Are Magic. Functions Revisited We already touched on functions in Data Typing and Immutability. If you haven't read that article yet, I'd recommend going...

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Dead Simple Python (An Announcement)

First order of business, to all the fans of the Dead Simple Python series, fear not! More articles are coming this year! As you've probably noticed, the series has been on hiatus since March, due to some unforeseen circumstances. In the past month, however, the reason for the delay has been very different, and quite exciting! Dead Simple Python is going to be a full-length book! I signed on with No Starch Press (publisher of Python...

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How To Become A Developer -- Part 4: Recommended Reading

There are hundreds of great books and courses out there! Here are a few recommendations from me and my peers. You do not have to read these in order! Pick and choose the ones that fit your needs. NOTE: I'll try to keep this up to date as I learn of more great resources. Consider it a living list. All books and courses cost money, unless otherwise indicated. Programming Culture These books give you insight into how the...