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Programming Is Fun Again!

By Paul Barry
October 24, 2011

I've been programming in Erlang just for the heck of it!

Head First iPhone and iPad Development and iOS5

By Tracey Pilone
October 14, 2011

Well, iOS5 is out, and that means that Head First iPhone and iPad Development officially needs some tweaking to work with the latest tools! First, a quick overview of the new features in iOS 5. For the OS itself, the...

It's True. Don't Believe A Word Of It.

By Paul Barry
July 29, 2011

The Ruby book was smoking!

Head First iPhone and iPad Development is out!

By Tracey Pilone
June 30, 2011

Head First iPhone and iPad Development is shipping as we speak, which is very exciting! Updating Head First iPhone was a daunting task this time around, there have been lots of developments with iOS development since we printed the first...

No Code Is Sometimes Best

By Paul Barry
May 30, 2011

And I'm always amazed when a developer insists on writing everything from scratch.

Those Crazy Fonts We Use

By Courtney Nash
April 18, 2011

By now, this study (PDF) by a team of psychology researchers from Princeton and Indiana University has stirred up some interesting press (and plenty of "I knew it" nodding of heads amongst the Head First team) given the unusual results....

New to Head First: WordPress in Tandem course

By Courtney Nash
November 17, 2010

Well, It's clear that blogging hasn't been a big priority for the Head First team this year, but we're back with some great news. We're testing out a new online course format with Head First WordPress, which was released this...

New Year, Lots of New Books (and an iPhone app)!

By Courtney Nash
January 5, 2010

Are you sitting down? Hopefully you are, because we've got a lot to discuss here. Since the last time we posted, we've released four more new books, and an iPhone app to boot. Speaking of iPhone apps, let's start with...

Four Short Links

By Brian Sawyer
August 21, 2009

Borrowing Nat Torkington's useful "four short links" format, I thought I'd round up a few items related to Head First you may have missed: Four ways that writing Head First has blown my mind -- Michael Milton explains four ways...

The Learner's Journey in Practice

By Brian Sawyer
July 8, 2009

Earlier this year, while Michael Milton was in the early stages of developing Head First Data Analysis (publishing later this month), we brought him to Cambridge to meet with the Head First editorial team for a focused training session. Our...

"Brain Power" Up Close

By Brett McLaughlin
June 24, 2009

Over the next few weeks, I thought we'd take a close look at some of the common Head First elements. A lot of folks love getting into the pedagogy of Head First, so this is almost a mini-primer to how...

Where do I start if I want to write for Head First?

By Brett McLaughlin
March 11, 2009

What does it take to be a Head First author?

By Brett McLaughlin
March 6, 2009

Do you ever wish you could write a Head First book? Wondering what it takes? Check out what Brett, the series editor, has to say about writing a Head First book.

What's coming in 2009 for Head First?

By Brett McLaughlin
February 10, 2009

The dreaded EJB question... addressed

By Brett McLaughlin
January 13, 2009

Lots of folks have been clamoring to know about the second edition of Head First EJB. Click Play on the video below to get a direct answer... I promise.

Special Announcement: Head First PDFs

By Brett McLaughlin
December 19, 2008

Hey there, Head First fans. It's been a crazy year for us here at Head First, and we've been working hard to end the year on an amazing, Joe-Frank-and-Jim would-love-this note. You've already seen our latest newsletter, where we've made...

The power of mishtakes

By David Griffiths
December 18, 2008

Next year is the 30th anniversary of The Book of Heroic Failures by Stephen Pile. It's like the Guinness Book of World Records for the clumsy, the forgetful and the just plain confused. Like the civil servant from Andorra who...

One Laptop Per Learner

By Sanders Kleinfeld
November 26, 2008

Nicholas Negroponte's incredible, buzzworthy nonprofit, one laptop per child, whose goal is to supply free, energy-efficient laptop computers to all children in the developing world, is having a special 2007 holiday promotion: Give One. Get One. If you donate a...

Did You Hear?

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

Kathy Sierra (co-creator of the Head First Series) provided a Keynote Presentation, and Workshop at the O'Reilly sponsored 2007 Web 2.0 Expo Berlin this week. Although I was unable to attend 2.0 Berlin, there were quite a few individuals that...

Want to learn more? Forget It!

By Keith McNamara
November 26, 2008

As I've so often suspected, keeping too much information in your head at one time is a good way to discourage further learning. A recent study from Stanford University helps confirm my suspicion. Using MRI scans, scientists found that those...

What price MySpace?

By Caitrin McCullough
November 26, 2008

I was talking to a friend of mine last night about BBSes—she was an early user; I ran one out of my basement thanks to my parents' generous donation of a second phone line and a 2400 baud modem. (She...

Making the connection

By Brett McLaughlin
November 26, 2008

I'm so completely fascinated by how we get the learning principles that science tells us about into books... but also as to how common phenomenon in life translate into books, as well. Case in point: I've been really working on...

The brain is a camera

By Brett McLaughlin
November 26, 2008

We're all about visuals here at Head First. Everything we know, as in we at Head First, and we, as in humans, says that visuals get the brain's attention. There's an ease of remembrance inherent in photos, images, and especially...

Your very own mail-order cylon

By Sanders Kleinfeld
November 26, 2008

The lede from from a Computerworld article from Saturday: An artificial intelligence researcher predicts that robotics will make such dramatic advances in the coming years that humans will be marrying robots by the year 2050. Robots will become so human-like...

What's your geek-chic quotient?

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

That was a headline in last Sunday's Boston Globe Ideas Section. So I read a little further. And to my surprise an O'Reilly colleague, Mark Frauenfelder, was mentioned in the article. In addition to being the editor-in-chief of the fantastic...

Indexed.com

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

This site is a little project that lets me make fun of some things and sense of others. I use it to think a little more relationally without resorting to doing actual math. - Jessica Hage Today's blog post is...

We still read for enjoyment

By Brett McLaughlin
November 26, 2008

I read to have fun, or for enjoyment, or for entertainment, or perhaps to escape the drudgery of my day. And even if I'm reading non-fiction, or "for learning," I still have to enjoy the book. The writing has to...

Yay for teh Internets :-)

By Sanders Kleinfeld
November 26, 2008

Technology is turning us into morons. David Brooks of the New York Times says so in this fabulous, tragicomic column, and he's right. OK, actually to be more accurate and less sensational (because that's what blogging's all about), he merely...

Crossword Puzzles in the Books and Beyond

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

I am one of those people who love crossword puzzles. Scratch that. I am one of those people who don't feel right unless they do at least one (and more often two or three) crossword puzzles a day. Yes I...

Fugitive Words and Visual Brainstorming

By Keith McNamara
November 26, 2008

Ever try to find that elusive word or concept that you know for sure is hiding somewhere in your brain but stubbornly refuses to be found? This happens to me repeatedly when I'm trying to write anything (and especially if...

Interactive Learning: What works for you?

By Caitrin McCullough
November 26, 2008

As the web producer on the team, I spend a lot of time looking for ways to bring the Head First pedagogy into our online offerings. It's a slow process, as there are a lot of technologies to consider, but...

A Book I Want to Read

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

To take this a step further: I'm not interested in writing that isn't obsessive. Who is? We're all drama queens in the end. We all come to stories with two basic questions: Who do I care about? And What do...

Vocabulary and Free Rice

By Caitrin McCullough
November 26, 2008

A friend of mine recently pointed me at Free Rice, a vocabulary testing game with the added benefit of each word you get right, the site donates "10 grains of rice through the United Nations to help end world hunger."...

Joining the (mental) gym

By Sanders Kleinfeld
November 26, 2008

Yes, I know you Head First readers are way more in shape and buff than me (it wouldn't be hard, trust me), and you've got the Gold/Platinum/Plutonium Plan at your local gym to prove it. But apparently these days, that's...

Movie Night

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

So Mike Morrison, the author of our forthcoming book Head First JavaScript sent me this hilarious link to a movie that helped him break through a case of writers block (don't worry, the book will still be out in late...

Things I Like

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

So unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware that the New York Times recently ended their subscription service and opened up their sites to everyone with Internet Access. I think that this is fantastic! So in order...

That great big voice in the sky

By Brett McLaughlin
November 26, 2008

I've thankfully never been into or hooked upon soap operas (although you could argue anything on in the evening that's "character-driven" is little more than a revamped soap opera), but I've from time to time seen a TiVoed or YouTubed...

Foo Camp and Word Hacking

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

Okay - I've said before that one of the great perks of working on these books is all the really great people that I have the opportunity to meet and talk with including our readers, our fans, our authors, and...

They're so smart, they're telepathic...

By Brett McLaughlin
November 26, 2008

I received an interesting mail today, on something I'd almost forgotten about: There's one thing I find really distracting. All of your speech balloons use a string of circles to connect the speaker to the words. If you buy any...

How do you like your learning?

By Sanders Kleinfeld
November 26, 2008

At Head First, we know that learning styles vary widely from person to person, which is why we use multiple presentation styles to teach each concept: diagrams for visual learners, dialogues for aural learners, exercises for people who tend to...

Nobody's Perfect

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

So - nobody's perfect...right? Even us. We know we make mistakes. But...should you do if you find an error in our book? Submit Errata. So there's a lot of places that people do this - but we prefer that you...

Great Essay on Creative Thinking

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

One of the great things about Head First being part of the O'Reilly family is that we get to work with a lot of really great...I mean really great people. I wanted to point our readers to another one of...

More voices == better books

By Brett McLaughlin
November 26, 2008

I mentioned yesterday that I've been conducting a Head First author training in Boston. We've got about 18 authors (although not that many books) represented, and I've been having the time of my life. What's amazing at these sessions is...

We are gawered herwe togewer...

By Brett McLaughlin
November 26, 2008

Okay, so it's hard to write the accent of that crazy minister in The Princess Bride, but hopefully you get the idea. Anyway, I'm writing from a hotel in Boston. In just about an hour, we'll start one of our...

Music and the Brain

By Sanders Kleinfeld
November 26, 2008

This month's Wired has a fascinating interview with Oliver Sacks, whose new book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain is a series of case studies that explore the role music plays in our mental lives. One of the things...

Sometime Inspiring....Sometimes just Funny

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

So we're working on Science and Math titles to branch out the Head First Family. Look for our first offerings there starting next year...and no I'm not going to be overly specific about when next year. One of the places...

A New Kind of Engineer

By Catherine Nolan
November 26, 2008

So did anyone else happen to see the recent article in the NY Times Magazine about Re-engineering Engineering? The article about the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA contrasts their novel yet successful approach to teaching against...

Head First SQL: Hot Off the Press!

By Caitrin McCullough
November 26, 2008

It's here! We just got our advance copies in the O'Reilly office, which means copies should be arriving in bookstores within the next two weeks (depending on where you are). This picture shows Catherine, one of the book's editors,...

Your brain on politics

By Sanders Kleinfeld
November 26, 2008

As presidential primary season gets under way in the U.S. and voters begin to align their loyalties with their candidate of choice, here's an interesting hypothesis to ponder: what if our political leanings are ingrained in our brain chemistry?...

Talking Turtle

By Caitrin McCullough
November 26, 2008

More from David Griffiths, author of the upcoming Head First Ruby on Rails: I noticed that someone recently posted the 1983 documentary "Talking Turtle" (I think it was originally from the BBC series "Horizon") on Google video. It is about...


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