Five best things I've read in 2017

- 2 mins

Zen and Unix. Fancy animations on your smartphone. Blogging. Scripts. Drugs and illegal arms trading.

The Art of Unix Programming - Eric S. Raymond

It’s not an academic textbook. I wouldn’t even call this a technical book. It touches on technical topics like editors, debuggers, compilers, and version control systems, but the most important parts are Unix history, philosophy, and folklore. Add to this mixture a lot of humour, very readable style, and a bunch of Zen philosophy and you will receive an enjoyable geek-friendly bedside book. The whole book is available under the Creative Commons license on the author’s website.

iOS Animations by Tutorials - Marin Todorov

Book released under RayWenderlich, which is the well-known portal for iOS Developers. The book itself gives a broad technical overview on iOS animations. It covers a whole spectrum of animation solutions. View animations, animating constraints, layer animations, view controller transition animations, UIViewPropertyAnimator and finally - 3D animations. What is worth noticing is the format of the book - each chapter is backed by an Xcode project with examples. I found tips from “iOS Animations by Tutorials” useful in my everyday work on iOS projects.

256 Bloghacks - Yegor Bugayenko

I read Yegor’s blog, despite the fact that I disagree with many of the articles and I am not interested in Java at all. It made me think - this guy is doing it well. 256 Bloghacks is a practical strategy for how to write, promote, and monetize your blog. I found only one drawback - the technical chapter is, in my opinion, weak and unnecessary. Nevertheless, it is still the best thing about blogging which I have read so far.

Wicked Cool Shell Scripts - Dave Taylor & Brandon Perry

Definitely not a tutorial for learning shell scripts from scratch. It’s also not something you can enjoy reading from beginning to end. It’s rather a collection of useful scripts solving different problems. Some solutions can really broaden your horizons.

American Kingpin - Nick Bilton

The best book I’ve read in 2017. A fascinating story about Silk Road’s founder, Ross Ulbricht. Silk Road was an anonymous trading platform where you could buy and sell illegal goods. It became one of the main drug distributors in the USA, however, Ross Ulbricht appears rather as a young, idealistic libertarian than a drug lord. Criminal chapters of the book are more than addictive. What’s more, it describes so many interesting technology facts; what language was Silk Road developed in? What security mistakes did Ross make? What tools did he use? Why can’t he cash in his Bitcoin fortune? And finally - why he got caught.

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Aleksander Popko

Aleksander Popko

iOS & macOS Software Engineer

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