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About Alvin Alexander
During this process he started a software consulting firm, grew it to fifteen people, sold it, and moved to Alaska. After returning to the "Lower 48," he self-published two books ("How I Sold My Business: A Personal Diary", and "Zen and the Art of Consulting"). He also created alvinalexander.com, which receives millions of page views every year.
These days Alvin is a survivor of two types of cancer and two rare blood diseases. He runs his consulting business, Valley Programming (valleyprogramming.com), and hopes to one day get back to running his 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, the Zen Foundation (zenfoundation.org).
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Some of the book’s lessons include:
- A simple set of rules for functional programming in Scala
- How and why to write pure functions and use immutable variables
- Why function signatures in FP are *much* more important than method signatures in OOP
- How pure functions work with I/O (file, database, and network)
- How to read anonymous functions
- Lessons on recursion, with many images to help explain how it works
- How the concepts of JVM stacks and stack frames work
- Partially-applied functions and currying
- How using Option naturally leads to flatMap, and how flatMap naturally leads to for-comprehensions
- How and why to use case classes and pattern matching
- How to use monads like State and IO
- How to use monad transformers like StateT
- How (and why) to write your own monads
- Domain modeling in functional programming
- How to use “lenses” to update immutable data models
- Concurrency lessons cover Akka actors and Scala futures
- Visual lessons on collections’ methods like fold and reduce
- How to use the ScalaCheck property-testing framework
- How to write and use “type classes”
- Algebraic Data Types (ADTs) are explained
All told, the book contains 120 small chapters. Source code examples from the book are available as a series of Github repositories that you can download and work with.
Save time and trouble when using Scala to build object-oriented, functional, and concurrent applications. With more than 250 ready-to-use recipes and 700 code examples, this comprehensive cookbook covers the most common problems you’ll encounter when using the Scala language, libraries, and tools. It’s ideal not only for experienced Scala developers, but also for programmers learning to use this JVM language.
Author Alvin Alexander (creator of DevDaily.com) provides solutions based on his experience using Scala for highly scalable, component-based applications that support concurrency and distribution. Packed with real-world scenarios, this book provides recipes for:
- Strings, numeric types, and control structures
- Classes, methods, objects, traits, and packaging
- Functional programming in a variety of situations
- Collections covering Scala's wealth of classes and methods
- Concurrency, using the Akka Actors library
- Using the Scala REPL and the Simple Build Tool (SBT)
- Web services on both the client and server sides
- Interacting with SQL and NoSQL databases
- Best practices in Scala development
Alvin Alexander founded a computer consulting business in the basement of his home in the 1990s, grew it into a very successful twenty-person business, and then sold it ten years later. During the process of trying to sell his small business, he wrote many small notes before and after meetings, and those notes eventually became a diary of everything he went through.
After the sale was completed, he published a portion of that diary on his website, HowISoldMyBusiness.com. The website quickly grew popular, with many comments like, “Thank you!”, “You helped me make money”, and “Please share more information.” After all that encouragement the book is finally here, including (a) an all-new “Lessons Learned” chapter, and (b) additional chapters on the five years that have passed since he sold his company.
If you're thinking, “Should I sell my small business?”, or “How can I sell my company?”, this book is for you. It shares the “behind the scenes” secrets of the process of selling a business that you won’t find anywhere else. Because of everything that happened during the sales process, the book will probably also be very helpful for people interested in buying a business, and people who are partners in a business, such as LLC business partners.
In the end, this book is an investment. Think of it this way: How much money would you be willing to spend to make thousands of additional dollars when you sell your business? If just one tip from this book makes you only a thousand dollars, it will still be one of the best investments you ever made.
Alvin Alexander has worked as a consultant for over twenty years. He began at the bottom, working for a small salary plus the exciting promise of "incentives". Sadly, those incentives didn't come right away. In fact, they barely came at all during the first year.
But he kept pushing forward, and after working 90-hour weeks for 18-24 months, and making pretty much every mistake a consultant can make -- such as offering advice without knowing all the facts, or before anyone actually asked for his advice -- things got better. The short story is that he created his own consulting firm, grew his income to over $300,000 per year, sold his business, and "retired" before his 45th birthday.
Here's how Mr. Alexander describes Zen & the Art of Consulting:
As I wrote this book, I kept thinking back to my first years as a consultant -- the lean years -- and asked, "Would this information have helped me?" I also thought about the employees I hired, and how I coached them to prepare for meetings and handle certain situations. If I thought a story told an important lesson, I included it here.
In the end, this book is for any consultant with ambition. It’s written for the consultant who wants to be involved in the big decisions, the consultant who meets with clients and prospects to discuss their most challenging problems, the consultant who makes the big presentations, influences decision-makers, and has happy, long-term customers. It’s for the person who aspires to be a partner in a consulting firm, or who wants to run his own consulting business.
Finally, with the summary sections ("cheat sheets") at the end of the book, you can also use this as a reference manual, such as reminding yourself of the important points the night before a big meeting.
I hope you enjoy this book, and I hope it leads to a rewarding, fulfilling career.
All the best,