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Download DB2 Express-C 9.7.5

IBM recently released a new edition of DB2 Express-C, the free edition of their powerful commercial database. You can grab DB2 Express-C 9.7.5 for Linux, Unix, and Windows here. This new version includes support for Oracle compatibility (which was previously only available for commercial editions), and a few other features, including an enhanced db shell known as CLP+. If you downloaded DB2 in the past, take this...

Speeding up queries by a factor of 100 or more with DB2 Text Search

During a recent Rails project at IBM we had to deal with a large table consisting of customers. The table is made up of legacy enterprise data, and contains close to a million records. Among many other fields, the table Customers includes a column name defined as VARCHAR. name is used to store company names. One of the requirements for the project was to implement a Google Suggest-like feature. That is, when...

The need for good vocational schools for programmers

A rigorous computer science education is certainly beneficial to programmers. It provides you with the ability to see the bigger picture, and a more in-depth understanding of many topics that will ultimately make you a better developer. I would argue however that it is far from actually being necessity. For many programming jobs, a computer science education is akin to having a mechanical engineering degree when...

Programming in Objective-C, 3rd Edition is out

Addison-Wesley quietly released the third edition of their Programming in Objective-C book (USA | UK | Canada). I own the first edition of the book and it’s stellar, so I’m really looking forward to reading this upgraded version which includes the latest changes to the language, the main IDE (XCode), and the Foundation framework for developing Mac, iPad, and iPhone...

jQuery Air: An outstanding introduction to jQuery

Code School is a fascinating new provider of video lessons for programmers. In the past I reviewed their Rails Best Practices course and certainly didn’t hide the fact that I’m a fan of their approach. It combines modular video lessons with practical exercises (called challenges), game-like rewards with scores and virtual badges, and also includes a handy support forum in case you get stuck. Recently Code...

IBM is Looking for a University Student with PHP skills in Toronto

My team is looking for a student for a paid internship, which will last for up to 18 months. The candidate should be legally permitted to work in Canada, as the location for this internship will be the IBM Toronto Software Lab in Markham, Ontario. PHP is a required skill for this position. If you have experience with cloud computing (Amazon EC2), relational databases, open source contribution, and/or Moodle, that...

10 Ruby One Liners to Impress Your Friends

Someone came up with a list of 10 one-liner examples that are meant to showcase Scala’s expressiveness. A CoffeeScript version quickly emerged, so I thought I’d publish a Ruby one. I find Ruby’s syntax to be a bit cleaner than Scala’s, but the substance (at least as far as these examples are concerned) is relatively similar. Multiply each item in a list by 2 (1..10).map {...

Interview with the Compilr.com team

1. For those who don’t know, what is an online compiler and how did you come up with the idea? An online compiler, or online IDE is a full software development environment on the web. This allows us programmers to develop from a wider range of machines without any software installations, and to always have our code handy whenever we may need it. There are a wide range of online compiler’s out there...

Installing Python, Django, and DB2 on Ubuntu 11.04

Note: This is the Python version of the Ruby guide I just published. In this brief tutorial I’ll show you how to create a complete Python and Django setup for DB2 on Ubuntu. By following my step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to install the following components: Python easy_install Django DB2 Express-C 9.7.4 The official Python driver, dbi module, and Django adapter for DB2 Installing Python and...

Installing Ruby on Rails and DB2 on Ubuntu 11.04

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a complete Ruby on Rails setup for DB2 on Ubuntu. Following my step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to install the following components: Ruby 1.8.7 Rubygems Ruby on Rails DB2 Express-C 9.7.4 The official Ruby driver and Rails adapter for DB2 Installing Ruby We are going to install Ruby 1.8.7 using the Debian packages that are available in the default...

Google I/O developer event in Waterloo, Canada

I just received an email from one of my contacts at Google in regards to an upcoming Google I/O conference in Waterloo, Ontario. I’m posting their announcement here in case you are in the area on May 10, 2011 and are interested in this free event: Google I/O 2011 is bringing together thousands of developers to share, learn and create; we want you to be part of of this free developer event! On Tuesday May 10th,...

Review of Rails Best Practices

Over the weekend I had a chance to play around a bit with Rails Best Practices, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts I had regarding it. In the startup world we often debate the merit of ideas vs execution. In this particular case, the idea behind this product is pretty straightforward. It’s a video course about common idioms and best practices in Rails, that helps you learn how to refactor bad Rails...

Running Radiant CMS on DB2 in the Cloud

In this article I will show you how to set up and run Radiant CMS on DB2 Express-C in the Cloud. Before getting started, let’s define each of these components: Radiant CMS is a popular, easy to use open source Content Management System (CMS) that’s written in Ruby on Rails. DB2 Express-C is a fully functional, free edition of DB2 which can be used in production for commercial purposes. Cloud, in this particular...

FAQ: What programming language should I learn first?

There are hundreds of different programming languages out there. As a newcomer you can ignore the fact that most of them exist. However, even if we narrow the list to just a dozen mainstream languages, deciding on what programming language to learn first can be a daunting task. You might find yourself asking, should I learn C, C++, Java, C#, or PHP first? If you ask ten programmers this question, you’ll...

Programming is a Super Power

In a society where technology and the Internet have become incredibly prominent elements of our daily lives, being able to program is akin to having a super power. In fact, a programmer is able to not only easily interact with cutting edge technology, but also to take advantage of said technology to transform pure thoughts into something as tangible and useful as software. I would argue that there has never been a...

Interview with Michael Hartl, author of the Rails 3 Tutorial

The following is an interview with Michael Hartl, author of the popular Rails 3 Tutorial. I want to thank Michael for his time and answers. Be sure to read until the end; as per Monday’s post, I’m doing a Twitter giveaway for this interview, too. 1. How did you go from Theoretical Physics to Ruby Programming? I have a background in computational physics, and I learned Perl and then Python to avoid the...

Eloquent Ruby Review

In 2007 Russ Olsen published Design Patterns in Ruby (US | UK | CA). Right around that time there were several other Ruby books hitting the shelves (as Rails was really reaching the peak of its popularity), however Olsen’s book managed to distinguish itself as a highly valuable resource for readers who wanted to better understand how to apply design patterns to Ruby programming (in an organic rather than dogmatic...

Jenga Driven Development

Over the years I’ve coined a few new programming related terms that are meaningless to other people, but which make sense to me (as they concisely describe certain programming concepts). Sometimes these homemade words have taken off among my colleagues as well, however others remain for the most part just tokens of my own nomenclature. One of my personal favorites is the term Jenga Driven Development (JDD). I...

The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-4A Boxed Set

There’s exciting news in Computer Science-land this week, as the 4A volume (on Combinatorial algorithms) of The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth is now complete and is available for preorder on Amazon. To make things even more intriguing, and to really get all of us CS/programming/math enthusiasts salivating, the boxed set is also made available for preorder (it’s slated to ship out next...

DB2 University goes live

DB2 University is a website that’s aimed at providing (mostly free) database courses. Its public beta went live today. While the focus is clearly on the free DB2 Express-C — as the name implies — the initial lineup of free courses already includes “SQL Fundamentals I”, which is a course that’s worth following regardless of your database of choice. Feel free to watch the intro...

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