5 Hot Technologies To Learn To Rev Up Your Web 3.0 Smarts5 Hot Technologies To Learn To Rev Up Your Web 3.0 Smarts
I admit it; I love technical books. Give me a cookbook-sized tome from O'Reilly, Addison-Wesley, or even Web access via the great new <a href="http://my.safaribooksonline.com">Safari Books Online</a> service, and I'm there. Sadly, there's never enough time to dive into the platforms and programming tools one wants to learn about. Yet now's the perfect time, because reading is a great way to develop new professional skills while remaining positively focused on the future amid these challenging ec
February 1, 2009
I admit it; I love technical books. Give me a cookbook-sized tome from O'Reilly, Addison-Wesley, or even Web access via the great new Safari Books Online service, and I'm there. Sadly, there's never enough time to dive into the platforms and programming tools one wants to learn about. Yet now's the perfect time, because reading is a great way to develop new professional skills while remaining positively focused on the future amid these challenging economic times. Read on for my "I'm getting ready for Web 3.0" list.My list of technical appetite-whetters was stoked last year, during the time I spent building a Joomla site and developing a bunch of simple Facebook apps.
That's led to my desire to acquire deeper knowledge and become a serious Facebook developer. Poking around the Facebook Developer Wiki in turn led me to think about which platform I want to work with.
This in turn tilted me toward Ruby on Rails, the increasingly popular open-source Web framework. Hey, everyone's talking about it -- here's the Rails Wiki and community link -- and you can download it for free, so what's not to try?
Thoughts of new-fangled frameworks like Ruby can make one nostalgic, though. That's why every now and again I break out an old book on the C programming language. (It's kind of like going back to the computer industry's version of biblical literature.) Personally, I have to confess that I've always found C to be much more to my liking than C++. The former is neat and well-ordered. Reading C++ always makes my brain hurt, even though I know it's got much more practical applicability.
No list of tech learning can be complete without a reference to something from that alternative that's really not so alternate. I speak of course about Apple, but more specifically about iPhone development. Here C has some applicability, at least in its permutation as Objective C, as does the Cocoa platform. I confess that I've never been able to carve out the massive chunk of time required to really get started on iPhone development. (Perhaps my focus on building , rather than getting a Mac, has held me back a bit.) Still, it's something I'm always meaning to do.
The fifth technology on my list is something I've been resisting. It's the Drupal open-source content management system. I've always been a big fan of Joomla, which is a competing open-source CMS. However, Drupal seems to be gaining ground as the go-to platform for many Web sites (newer sites are using it and older sites are migrating to it.
OK, so that's my list. And yes, I know that I shouldn't be calling all of these "Web 3.0." (OTOH, if you can definitively tell me what's Web 3.0 and what isn't, well. . . )
I'll close with pointers to five books that serve as valuable sources for studying up on these technologies. I can personally vouch for the Facebook and C books. The Drupal book I haven't actually read, because personally I'm still clinging to Joomla. As for the two Ruby tomes, those are recommendations I've received.
Here's the book list:
Facebook Cookbook Building Applications to Grow Your Facebook Empire, By Jay Goldman (here).
The Ruby Way: Solutions and Techniques In Ruby Programming, Second Edition, By Hal Fulton (here).
Beginning Ruby: From Novice To Professional, By Peter Cooper (here).
Practical C Programming, By Steve Oualline (here).
The iPhone Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the iPhone SDK, By Erica Sadun (here).
Using Drupal Choosing and Configuring Modules to Build Dynamic Websites, By Jeff Robbins, Angela Byron, Addison Berry, Jeff Eaton, Nate Haug, James Walker (here).
BTW, another valuable site is InformIT, which is a portal to Pearson's publishing imprints (Que, Addison-Wesley, Cisco Press). It's got sample chapters and articles.
What technologies have you been wanting to learn? Let me know, by leaving a comment below or e-mailing me directly at [email protected].
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Alex Wolfe is editor-in-chief of InformationWeek.com.
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