Year 2013: Top 10 Reads

31 Dec 2013, by Pang Yan Han

After seeing Michael Fogus’ review of year 2013 , I was inspired to do a similar, but less ambitious review, just to share my top 10 reads of 2013. Actually not the top 10. I’ve read a ton of other great stuff but somehow lost the links. Here’s what I have managed to dig out:

How can C Programs be so reliable? by Laurence Tratt. A very good read which investigates why widely used systems written in the C Programming Language, such as the Linux Kernel, are so robust, despite how easy it is to make mistakes writing in C.

What are some false beliefs about functional programminga and functional programming languages, a question on Quora, featuring an answer by Tikohn Jelvis. Fantastic explanation of some general misconceptions of functional programming languages, with a bias towards the Haskell programming language.

What does Ruby have that Python doesn’t, and vice versa?. A question on Stack Overflow turned into a community wiki. I’ve only read some parts of it, owing to a need to use Ruby during work.

What is the best (programming) algorithm that you have ever created?, a question on Quora, featuring an answer by Leo Polovets. I was delighted to see Bidirectionl Breadth First Search in the answer, as that is covered in the CS3233 Competitive Programming module at NUS. Just download this set of slides to see it for yourself.

What are some things low level programmers know but high level ones don’t?, a question on Quora, featuring an answer by Binu Jose Philip. An interesting read and stuff that’s good to know, though it may not be directly applicable depending on what you do.

What can you do with the Go programming Language that used to be hard to do?, a question on Quora, featuring an answer by Robert Love. The Go programming language is a concurrency oriented language designed to be easy to use. This answer offers a bird’s eye view to the Go language, and there is a video of a Google I/O talk by Rob Pike on Go. I know there’s a lot of stuff on this list from Quora, so this will be the last one.

Reddit: Lessons Learned from Mistakes Made Scaling to 1 Billion Pageviews a Month. A nice article on how Reddit attacked its scalability challenges.

How do I “think in AngularJS” if I have a jQuery background, a question on Stack Overflow. Take a look at the answer by Josh David Miller, which has 3409 upvotes (!!) at this point. Given how jQuery has pretty much become a standard tool among JavaScript programmers, and the surge of interest in AngularJS (18509 stars, 5276 forks on Github), this is a good read for beginners in AngularJS transitioning from a jQuery background.

What is the worst real-world macros/pre-processor abuse you’ve ever come across, a question on Stack Overflow. Many interesting answers, this is a particularly interesting one that lets one write Java in C++. Don’t do that in your code.

Last but not least…

The 32 Naughtiest Cats of All Time. I’m Still Shaking My Head! Just when you thought the last share will be a tech article. Let’s end the year with photos of some cute looking cats. Hello 2014!

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