Picks for October, 2016

The title of this post is probably a little misleading, given that a third of November has gone by already, but here goes…

The Ultimate List of Developer Podcasts

The irrepressible John Sonmez has a rather comprehensive list of Developer Podcasts. He first created this list back in 2014, but he has refreshed it recently so it is bang up to date. If you’re a developer looking for something interesting to listen to on your daily commute then you’ll almost certainly find it here.


Sticking with podcasts, this one was probably too late to make John’s list. Michael Kennedy, the genial host of the popular Talk Python To Me podcast, has teamed up with Brian Okken, host of the Python Testing podcast, to bring a new podcast Python Bytes, billed as “Python headlines delivered directly to your earbuds.” At the time of writing there has only been one episode, but it’s a promising start.

The X Macro

While I was researching techniques for implementing a CHIP-8 emulator, I stumbled across some posts about an idea known as the X Macro, a coding technique that leans heavily on the C pre-processor to simplify the generation of things like tables.

Here is a two part article on the topic by Andrew Lucas, and another article by Walter Bright.

“If you stranded me on a desert island with a computer that only had a Python interpreter on it, then I’d use it to write a C compiler, and if it only had a C compiler then I’d write a Python interpreter.”

C is an old language. And, because I’ve been using it for many years, I thought I’d seen most techniques. But the X Macro was new to me, even though the idea pre-dates C.

How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016

This piece describes a hypothetical programmer who has just picked up a web project and asks a web developer friend for their advice. Is it humour? Reality? Both?

This is simultaneously fascinating and worrying. How many security flaws are introduced by this apparent rush for the latest silver bullets? How many people choose wrong when betting on front-end technology? Or is it that people are always doomed to make that bet over and over because the guy who introduced the last framework and shiny new toolchain  that almost does everything but not quite, has moved on, leaving everyone else to pick up the pieces?

The CATCH Unit Test Framework for C++

CATCH, or C++ Automated Tested Cases in Headers, is a header-based test automation framework for C++. It’s exceedingly simple to use and doesn’t require much ceremony.

Visual C++ for Linux Development

From the point of view of someone who works on a cross-platform product, this Visual Studio plugin from Microsoft looks interesting, as it adds the ability to write and compile Linux code from Visual Studio. You can find more information about it here.

I spend a lot of time in Visual Studio, but when I’m working on Linux then I usually reach for vim. They both have their uses, but I’m intrigued by the convenience of being able to do more from Visual Studio. Of course, by now every Emacs user (both of them!) in the world is glowering at me because they do all of their work without leaving the editor.



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