The Imposter's Handbook, Season 2: Binary, Encoding, Encryption, networking and More. Now On Presale.


We are actively writing the next volume for the best-selling The Imposter's Handbook, and we need your help.

Scott Hanselman and I want to take our time and do this book right. This means means investigating every topic thoroughly, writing concisely, and grounding everything in a simple, straightforward way. So we're pre-selling the book in order to crowdfund our effort. 

The book is all about the flow of information. We start with simple logic and move our way through encoding, encryption and transmission over a network. These are the topics at a high level:

  • 1
    Logic, Binary and Logical Circuits
    We start simply, looking at Aristotle's "Laws of Thought" and then George Boole's translation of those laws into mathematics (Boolean Algebra). We then meet Claude Shannon, who took things a step further by implementing boolean logic with electrical circuits.
  • 2
    Compression and Encoding
    We'll get to know Claude Shannon, who kicked off the Information Age with his masterpiece: A Mathematical Theory of Communication. We'll see how this paper laid the foundation for data compression, error correction, and digital networks as we know them.
  • 3
    Encryption and Cryptanalysis
    Now that we can transmit information, we need to protect it. We dive into simple enciphering schemes, from Bacon's biliteral encryption all the way through to SHA-1, MD5 and beyond. We also deviate for a bit and look at how cracking software works, such as THC-Hydra and Brutus.
  • 4
    Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
    A controversial topic, but one that you should understand. I didn't know anything about Bitcoin, Blockchain etc. except for the constant snark coming from the hype-averse. Is it worth understanding? Does Blockchain have something to offer? Let's learn the details and decide for ourselves.

Why Should I Care About These Topics?

Programming is much, much more than simply typing some code into an editor and hoping for the best. The applications we write produce information, which your business uses to make money to then pay you. Understanding the nature and flow of information within your application gives you a particular focus. An appreciation for how that information is created, where it goes, how it's stored, and how it will be analyzed later on. Information and data are the true value of your business, and your attention to it will make your boss/clients/colleagues very, very happy. This means you win.

How This Will Work

Like any crowdfunding effort, you choose what level you want to be involved. You'll have access to the PDF as we write it, which we think should be updated every 2 to 3 weeks. You'll also have access to the book forever, each version, always

Be sure to add yourself to our mailing list as well so you can stay in the loop. We would do it for you, but GDPR and so on.

I already have the first The Imposter's Handbook. Is this an update? Or new material?

This book is all new material in a completely separate, standalone book. It's still written for programmers without CS degrees (like Scott and myself), but all programmers might find something useful.

Back This Project

No matter which option you choose, you'll receive the current PDF today, in draft form. You'll find links to the code as well as our Github repo in the book itself.

Just the book


  • PDF today
  • All digital editions forever
  • Feedback as we write
  • Access to code repository
Both Seasons



  • PDF today
  • All digital editions of both books forever
  • Feedback as we write
  • Access to code repository for both books
  • check
    First season eBook
The Premium Bundle


  • PDF today
  • All digital editions forever
  • Feedback as we write
  • Access to code repository
  • check
    Video Walkthroughs
  • check
    The First Season ebook
  • check
    The First Season videos
  • check
    Access to all the code

Is there a print edition planned?

Yes, but not for a long while. We want to be sure the book is solid and as free of technical and grammatical errors as possible before we send it off to the printers. A print book should be available by December 2018 or just after the new year.

When will the book be ready?

I plan on blogging about the process as we write the book, and I also have a newsletter where I share stories about what I'm learning along the way. Right now, the plan is to release the book sometime in September 2018. Sign up to the newsletter to find out more!

Copyright 2018, Big Machine Inc.