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Has StackOverflow Become An Antipattern?

We joke about "Copying & Pasting from StackOverflow". We commiserate with the countless hordes who have been shunned by the high-rep elites for...whatever reason. And yet, I'll guess that most of us visit StackOverflow on a daily basis. It's become an ubiquitous part of the programmer's workflow. I've been a member of StackOverflow for years, once being an active reviewer, and in the top 5%...

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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...

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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...

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Dead Simple Python: Project Structure and Imports

The worst part of tutorials is always their simplicity, isn't it? Rarely will you find one with more than one file, far more seldom with multiple directories. I've found that structuring a Python project is one of the most often overlooked components of teaching the language. Worse, many developers get it wrong, stumbling through a jumble of common mistakes until they arrive at something that at...

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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...

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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,...

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Dead Simple Python: Data Typing and Immutability

I received a lovely comment on this series from Damian Rivas... I just read the first two parts that are currently released. I gotta say, with Python being around the 5th language I dive into, I really appreciate this style of teaching! It's hard finding teaching material that doesn't start with "what is a variable" lol. Hate to disappoint, Damian, but I couldn't avoid variables...

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Introducing "Dead Simple Python"

Ever spent three hours trying to find that bit of knowledge that everyone seemed to have but you? As a self-trained Python developer, I've sometimes found myself stuck in that knowledge crater, between tutorials far simpler than real life, and articles more advanced than I could comprehend. Even the documentation felt like a firehose of information, making it nearly impossible to find the one...

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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...

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Updated #beginner Tag Guidelines

Co-authored with @highcenburg DEV.to has a reputation for being incredibly beginner-friendly, and we like to think that the #beginners tag is a big part of that. More recently, however, it's been getting hard to predict what belongs on the tag and what doesn't. What designates a "beginner"? Is it someone new to programming, new to Javascript, new to React, or just new to Bootstrap? Those of us...

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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...

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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...