Tagged With programming

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While computers are poor at creativity, they are adept at crunching through vast numbers of solutions to modern problems where there are numerous complex variables at play. Take the question of finding the best delivery plan for a distribution company - where best to begin? How many vehicles? Which stretches of road need to be avoided at which times? If you want to get close to a sensible answer, you need to ask a computer.

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Patrick Moberg has wasted hours of your life, or of the life of someone next to you in a waiting room. His studio Dots created the beautiful and addictive mobile game Dots (the thinking person's Candy Crush), and its sequels Two Dots and Dots & Co, all of which are on millions of phones. We talked to him about the game development process, his favourite games, and his children's book.

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Invoicing service FreshBooks is part of the software canon for freelancers and entrepreneurs. It's shown up in Lifehacker recommendations from 2009 to 2018, and it's still one of the best ways to stay sane when billing multiple clients. Two years ago, the company rolled out an entirely new version that it had secretly developed under the name Bill Spring. We talked to FreshBooks co-founder and CEO Mike McDerment about building his own company's biggest competitor.

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Machine learning (AKA AI) seems bizarre and complicated. It's the tech behind image and speech recognition, recommendation systems, and all kinds of tasks that computers used to be really bad at but are now really good at. It involves teaching a computer to teach itself. And you can learn to do it in well under a year, according to data scientist Bargava. You'll need to put in a solid 10-20 hours a week, but you will learn a lot along the way.

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Programming is one of the most valuable skills you can pick up in these modern times, whether for career prospects or to stretch your brain and create something awesome. If you're just getting started on your coding journey, here are ten tips and resources to set you off on the right foot.

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Changing career paths, getting an idea for an app out of your head, or just learning something new and useful are all great reasons to get started programming. Learning a programming language might sound as intimidating as learning an actual foreign language, but with the right tips, hints and resources (conveniently provided below), you can go from bumbling bash user to the viscount of vim.

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Programmers can be difficult to talk to. Not because they're socially inept (although that can sometimes be a problem too), but because you have no idea how to do their jobs. This makes it tricky to know exactly how long a requested task will realistically take to complete - or even if it's feasible.

This flowchart from visual designer Anna Vitals explains how to direct the conversation without coming across as rude or clueless.

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Brian Fox is a titan of open source software. As the first employee of Richard Stallman's Free Software Foundation, he wrote several core GNU components, including the GNU Bash shell. Now he's a board member of the National Association of Voting Officials and co-founder of Orchid Labs, which delivers uncensored and private internet access to users such as those behind China's firewall. We talked to him about his career and how he works.

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It's Computer Science Education Week, and Apple is offering thousands of free coding sessions at all Apple Stores. There are all sorts of workshops happening - at my local store, aspiring coders can learn the basics of the Swift programming language, design a maze and navigate Star Wars droids through obstacles, and bring robots to life using the Swift Playgrounds iPad app.

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This is one of those pranks for someone who's enough of your friend to not murder you afterwards, but also kind of deserves a little pain. The Mimic script changes characters in a code file to alternative characters that look the same to human eyes, but completely screw up the syntax. I pity the victim.

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If you think back to your high school geometry class, you might remember that "If/Then" statements were used in solving mathematical proofs. But even if maths wasn't your thing, you actually use If/Then statements every day: "If it's raining outside, then I will bring an umbrella." Or, "If I eat this doughnut, then I will be very guilt- um, happy."