Austin Computer Book Club

Vote: Our March ’20 Book

Welcome to 2020! Ready to keep your “read more” resolution going strong? For out next poll, we’re picking the book for our March meetup. Take a look at the selections and rank your picks using the form at the bottom of the post! Voting will close at midnight on Friday, Jan. 24.

Uncanny Valley Uncanny Valley, by Anna Wiener

by Anna Wiener
288 pages, 2020, $14-27
On publisher’s site; Goodreads; Amazon

Part coming-of-age-story, part portrait of an already-bygone era, Anna Wiener’s memoir is a rare first-person glimpse into high-flying, reckless startup culture at a time of unchecked ambition, unregulated surveillance, wild fortune, and accelerating political power. With wit, candor, and heart, Anna deftly charts the tech industry’s shift from self-appointed world savior to democracy-endangering liability, alongside a personal narrative of aspiration, ambivalence, and disillusionment.

Unsparing and incisive, Uncanny Valley is a cautionary tale, and a revelatory interrogation of a world reckoning with consequences its unwitting designers are only beginning to understand.

Introducing Regular Expressions Introducing Regular Expressions

– Unraveling Regular Expressions, Step-by-Step, by Michael Fitzgerald
154 pages, 2012, $25-50
On Goodreads; Safari; Amazon

If you’re a programmer new to regular expressions, this easy-to-follow guide is a great place to start. You’ll learn the fundamentals step-by-step with the help of numerous examples, discovering first-hand how to match, extract, and transform text by matching specific words, characters, and patterns.

Regular expressions are an essential part of a programmer’s toolkit, available in various Unix utilities as well as programming languages such as Perl, Java, JavaScript, and C#. When you’ve finished this book, you’ll be familiar with the most commonly used syntax in regular expressions, and you’ll understand how using them will save you considerable time.

Ruined by Design Ruined by Design

– How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It, by Mike Monteiro
223 pages, 2019, $10-25
On Goodreads; Amazon; IndieBound

The world is working exactly as designed. And it’s not working very well. Which means we need to do a better job of designing it. Design is a craft with an amazing amount of power. The power to choose. The power to influence. As designers, we need to see ourselves as gatekeepers of what we are bringing into the world, and what we choose not to bring into the world. Design is a craft with responsibility. The responsibility to help create a better world for all.

This book will make you see that design is a political act. What we choose to design is a political act. Who we choose to work for is a political act. Who we choose to work with is a political act. And, most importantly, the people we’ve excluded from these decisions is the biggest (and stupidest) political act we’ve made as a society.

[Voting is closed.]

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