Library

These are the latest additions:

  1. How Google Tests Software
  2. Professional Node.js
  3. Living with Complexity
  4. Design for Hackers
  5. Context

  • 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know Collective Wisdom from the Experts

    The book is a series of short essays, erectile two pages each, case by over 40 authors sharing their insight about software architecture. While it’s good to convey the spirit of software architecture and find common attributes between good architects (although few of the authors have truly impressive credentials), it provides little factual information. The format does not allow for much more than scratching the surface. Examples are vague and opinions are rarely supported. I enjoyed the variety bought by the multiple authors, but I think leaving them around 10 pages per essay would have provided more value for readers.

    • Authors: Richard Monson-Haefel, Monson-Haefel Richard
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media
    • Publication date: February, 2009
    • 220 pages
    • ISBN: 059652269X
    • ISBN: 059652269X
  • A Whole New Mind Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

    • Authors: Daniel H. Pink
    • Publisher: Riverhead Trade
    • Publication date: March, 2006
    • 288 pages
    • ISBN: 1594481717
    • ISBN: 1594481717
  • Agile Retrospectives Making Good Teams Great

    This book pretty much summarizes everything I hate about agile. Rituals and games. It’s the formalization of ideas that were initially simple into over a hundred pages of repetition. Sure, there are quite a few neat tricks, but I just did not like the format. Too much of a recipe book. I did not feel it promulgated the essence of agile.

    • Authors: Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, Ken Schwaber
    • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
    • Publication date: July, 2006
    • 200 pages
    • ISBN: 0977616649
    • ISBN: 0977616649
  • Agile Testing A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley Signature Series)

    This book’s title is misleading. It’s more about testing in an agile context than testing itself. The target audience is mostly testers who became part of a transition to agile practices and aims to help them find their new role by explaining the various changes from traditional approaches. The book is packed with real life examples and is a great overview the agile processes. While the audience is testers, I find the book to be useful to many other roles regarding to software quality.

    On the downside, the book is a bit irregular. Some chapters are extremely interesting and insightful while others are barely fillers. However, it’s still a great read for the most part. I especially appreciated that it’s not meant to be a transition cookbook, but rather explaining different tactics that can be used depending on the situation, in a true agile sense.

    • Authors: Lisa Crispin, Janet Gregory
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: January, 2009
    • 576 pages
    • ISBN: 0321534468
    • ISBN: 0321534468
  • Améliorer la maintenance du logiciel

    Don’t expect the description of a maturity model to be entertaining. It’s not, and it’s not supposed to be. I read this one because I was given a copy while attending a conference. I felt the content of the book was realistic and I could actually recognize maintenance tasks as I saw them in the real world. The book only covers practices until level 2. Already, if all those practices were in place, software maintenance wouldn’t be such a mess. I wonder what’s in levels 3 to 5.

    • Authors: Alain April
    • Publisher: Loze-Dion éditeur, inc.
    • Publication date: January, 2008
    • 347 pages
    • ISBN: 292118088X
    • ISBN: 292118088X
  • Applying UML and Patterns An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and Iterative Development (3rd Edition)

    • Authors: Craig Larman
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
    • Publication date: October, 2004
    • 736 pages
    • ISBN: 0131489062
    • ISBN: 0131489062
  • Balancing Agility and Discipline A Guide for the Perplexed

    • Authors: Barry Boehm, Richard Turner
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: August, 2003
    • 304 pages
    • ISBN: 0321186125
    • ISBN: 0321186125
  • Beautiful Architecture Leading Thinkers Reveal the Hidden Beauty in Software Design

    This one is from the same series as Beautiful Code. The concept is the same: present nice pieces of software and explain their good attributes. The quality of the content in this one is much higher than the predecessor. It’s also easier to read as the scope is at a much higher level (but without loosing touch). The wide variety of topic makes it really interesting to read and can be read chapter by chapter easily.

    There are still a few chapters of lower quality, however most of it is worth reading.

    • Authors: Diomidis Spinellis , Georgios Gousios
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    • Publication date: January, 2009
    • 426 pages
    • ISBN: 059651798X
    • ISBN: 059651798X
  • Beautiful Code Leading Programmers Explain How They Think (Theory in Practice (O’Reilly))

    From the introduction, I really loved this book. The base idea is that to write better code, we need to stop writing code and start reading code to understand what makes it beautiful. Reading code is always challenging. A lot more challenging than writing it, because it requires that you understand how the author was thinking.

    No matter how Amazon filled those fields, this book has many authors. Some were great, some less. Each chapter must be taken individually. I found that the best chapters in the book were written by those who did not write the code they were discussing. It makes sense. I don’t think any code can be declared beautiful until someone objective says it is. When discussing someone else’s code, the interfaces and simplicity is discussed. Of course they discussed how they used the library in their own context, but that’s what makes it beautiful.

    Those who wrote about their own code didn’t spend enough time reading other’s code, which goes against the principle of the book itself. Sadly, there were many of them and it accounts for a very large portion of the book. Hopefully, O’Reilly will publish more books like this and they will contain more objective views.

    • Authors: Andy Oram, Greg Wilson
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    • Publication date: June, 2007
    • 618 pages
    • ISBN: 0596510047
    • ISBN: 0596510047
  • Beautiful Teams Inspiring and Cautionary Tales from Veteran Team Leaders

    I have been a fan of the O’Reilly Beautiful series for a long time. I just like the format. Each chapter is typically long enough to have substance and still short enough that you can read it in a quick session. This one is no different. As always, software development practices are very subjective. There is not much hard data and this book does not add much more. However, it contains nice anecdotes and stories. I found it entertaining. Sadly, it did not bring much new content that was not covered elsewhere, outside of the original stories, of course. If anything, the format using storytelling makes a better case about the practices than the average textbook.

    • Authors: Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media
    • Publication date: March, 2009
    • 512 pages
    • ISBN: 0596518021
    • ISBN: 0596518021
  • Becoming a Technical Leader An Organic Problem-Solving Approach

    • Authors: Gerald M. Weinberg
    • Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
    • 304 pages
    • ISBN: 0932633021
    • ISBN: 0932633021
  • Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review (Modern Approach. Practical Advice.)

    The company behind this book is now giving it away for free. I was mostly expecting a sales pitch for their software, and there is some of that, but they are very honest about it. The book still provides useful information and valid arguments. It does not have the same rigor as some of the other books on the subject (in fact, I’m pretty sure some of their math is wrong and some definitions are used inaccurately), but it’s a light introduction to the subject and most software managers could benefit from it.

    • Authors: Jason Cohen
    • Publisher: Smartbearssoftware.com
    • 164 pages
    • ISBN: 1599160676
    • ISBN: 1599160676
  • Best Practices in Software Measurement

    • Authors: Christof Ebert, Reiner Dumke, Manfred Bundschuh, Andreas Schmietendorf, Rainer Dumke
    • Publisher: Springer
    • Publication date: November, 2004
    • 300 pages
    • ISBN: 3540208674
    • ISBN: 3540208674
  • C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4

    This is a good Qt4 tutorial. Most of the material contained in the book can also be found on the web, but I just like to have a book to read from. The book explains the concepts behind Qt very well and gives design insight, not only cookbook-style code samples.

    To me, the only downside of this one is that the concept of conclusion was completely forgotten. Each chapter finishes without summarizing the content or giving any extension points or further references. In the same way, the last chapter ends giving the impression there will be an other chapter afterwards.

    • Authors: Jasmin Blanchette, Mark Summerfield
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
    • Publication date: June, 2006
    • 560 pages
    • ISBN: 0131872494
    • ISBN: 0131872494
  • Clean code A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

    • Authors: Martin, Robert C.
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall
    • Publication date: 2008
    • 431 pages
    • ISBN: 0132350882
    • ISBN: 0132350882
  • Code Complete A Practical Handbook of Software Construction

    Code Complete is one of the great classics of the software engineering literature. As the great bible of software construction, it presents various topics related to building high quality software. Unlike what is usually meant by software construction, Code Complete describes something way beyond simply writing code. Relations are made to the other knowledge areas defined in SWEBOK.

    • Authors: Steve McConnell
    • Publisher: Microsoft Press
    • Publication date: July, 2004
    • 960 pages
    • ISBN: 0735619670
    • ISBN: 0735619670
  • Coders at Work

    A great series of well structured interviews with some of the pioneers and strong influences of programming. Questions lead to how they tackle design, reading existing software, their position facing various levels of formalism and generally, their position on how the profession evolved. It provides an invitation to look back to past ideas and question what we assume to be right.

    • Authors: Peter Seibel
    • Publisher: Apress
    • Publication date: September, 2009
    • 632 pages
    • ISBN: 1430219483
    • ISBN: 1430219483
  • Computer Graphics with OpenGL (3rd Edition)

    When it comes to big expensive books with emphasis on theory, I have seen worst. This one can actually be understood with minimal prior knowledge. The basics of OpenGL are quite easy to get, but maths in a 3D space are. The book introduces topics in an ordered manner and can be used as a reference.

    • Authors: Donald Hearn, M. Pauline Baker
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall
    • Publication date: September, 2003
    • 880 pages
    • ISBN: 0130153907
    • ISBN: 0130153907
  • Content Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future

    I read this one while traveling. The small form factor was a selling point when I was selecting a book from my reading stack. It turned out to be a good choice. Light short essays are easy reads when sitting in an airport, deprived of sleep. Cory’s opinions on content, virtual identities and generally the changes brought by the web are insightful. However, I found there was too much overlap between the essays. The same arguments keep coming over and over again.

    • Authors: Cory Doctorow
    • Publisher: Tachyon Publications
    • Publication date: September, 2008
    • 224 pages
    • ISBN: 1892391813
    • ISBN: 1892391813
  • Context

    • Authors: Cory Doctorow
    • Publisher: Tachyon Publications
    • Publication date: 2011-10-01
    • 240 pages
    • ISBN: 1616960485
    • ISBN: 1616960485
  • Continuous Delivery Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation

    • Authors: Jez Humble, David Farley
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: 2010
    • 512 pages
    • ISBN: 0321601912
    • ISBN: 0321601912
  • Continuous Integration Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk (The Addison-Wesley Signature Series)

    Continuous integration is about automating the software build and testing process and to run it every single time a change moves to version control. The introduction of the book was great and really convinced me that CI was the right way to do it. The down sides came later. The rest of the book lacks substance. The same reasons come over and over again, but discussing slightly different topics, all of which were well introduced in the first chapter. I also had that feeling that CI was seen as a silver bullet.

    Having done quite a bit of database development and testing of database applications, I found the chapter devoted to it to be quite weak. It was barely scratching the surface and not so convincing. It also lacked some details for those of us who live outside the Java and .NET world. Since Java and .NET are really similar, I consider this book covers a single development platform. Other languages are mentioned, but details are never provided.

    For most of the book, the examples are poor at best. Screenshots are taken from sample programs with 3 files to compile and 5 tests to run. What about large applications?

    The book is worth reading for the introduction, chapter 9 about feedback mechanisms and the appendix detailing various supporting products out there. The rest of it contains very little information per page.

    • Authors: Paul Duvall, Steve Matyas, Andrew Glover
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: July, 2007
    • 336 pages
    • ISBN: 0321336380
    • ISBN: 0321336380
  • Crossing the Chasm

    • Authors: Geoffrey A. Moore
    • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
    • 256 pages
    • ISBN: 0060517123
    • ISBN: 0060517123
  • Death March (2nd Edition) (Yourdon Press Series)

    • Authors: Edward Yourdon
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
    • Publication date: November, 2003
    • 256 pages
    • ISBN: 013143635X
    • ISBN: 013143635X
  • Defensive Design for the Web How to improve error messages, help, forms, and other crisis points (VOICES)

    • Authors: 37signals
    • Publisher: New Riders Press
    • Publication date: March, 2004
    • 264 pages
    • ISBN: 073571410X
    • ISBN: 073571410X
  • Design Patterns Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Addison-Wesley Professional Computing Series)

    • Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John M. Vlissides
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: November, 1994
    • 416 pages
    • ISBN: 0201633612
    • ISBN: 0201633612
  • Design for Hackers Reverse Engineering Beauty

    Reading this book certainly did not make me a better designer. I’m not actually sure the title matches the content. I never felt like it was addressed for hackers like me who generally specialize in black text on white background types of design. It did not aim to giving me tips to do a decent job with little time (which is what hackers are looking for).

    Instead, it explained the entire history of design and tried to explain why a designer’s job is so hard. If anything, I may be able to differentiate a good designer from a bad one, but can’t do any more myself.

    • Authors: David Kadavy
    • Publisher: Wiley
    • Publication date: 2011-08-19
    • 352 pages
    • ISBN: 1119998956
    • ISBN: 1119998956
  • Developing Quality Technical Information A Handbook for Writers and Editors (2nd Edition) (IBM Press Series–Information Management)

    I had spent months working for a technical publication department before reading this book. I choose it because I simply had no idea how to write technical documentation about the software I developed. This book served me well. Not only my documentation got better, but I understood better what the company I was working for was actually producing. It gave me great insight on the processes and helped me improve the supporting tools.

    Although the book content is centered towards software documentation, the concepts can be extended much further. It’s very well written.

    • Authors: Gretchen Hargis, Michelle Carey, Ann Kilty Hernandez, Polly Hughes, Deirdre Longo, Shannon Rouiller, Elizabeth Wilde
    • Publisher: IBM Press
    • Publication date: April, 2004
    • 432 pages
    • ISBN: 0131477498
    • ISBN: 0131477498
  • Digital Image Processing (2nd Edition)

    Maths and theory. What else do you need? Of course, some light text that is easy to read can be useful, but that’s not exactly what this book is all about. It’s to be used as a reference. When analyzing images, the book can point in the right direction as long as you know what you are actually trying to do. Without an objective, this book is as interesting as reading a dictionary.

    • Authors: Rafael C. Gonzalez, Richard E. Woods
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall
    • Publication date: January, 2002
    • 793 pages
    • ISBN: 0201180758
    • ISBN: 0201180758
  • Domain-specific languages

    As always, Martin Fowler brings good design practices to the table. While the book is about domain specific languages and bringing different stakeholders to the development process with a language they can read and validate, the books is also about good design.

    Building a language can be an incremental process too and the investment required does not have to be large up front. Part of it can just be around designing an API in a way that makes the code more expressive about some elements than others, always building a sane object model in the back end for use by the software of eventual augmentations to the DSL. Reading this book has changed the way I think about code APIs significantly.

    • Authors: Martin Fowler
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
    • Publication date: 2011
    • 597 pages
    • ISBN: 0321712943
    • ISBN: 0321712943
  • Dreaming in Code Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software

    What an amazing book. It relates the story of a software development project as seen by an outsider. The story is about a train wreck. An open source project gone bad because of the abundant funding, lack of pressure, poor management, conflicting point of views and generally bad design decisions. There is a lot to learn from it.

    The author also made a terrific job at reading prior work and explaining the things that went wrong, referencing to some of the top authors of the field. The overall is a very easy to read and understand book. Even if you are not technical or are only remotely involved with software development, this one is a must read.

    • Authors: Scott Rosenberg
    • Publisher: Three Rivers Press
    • Publication date: February, 2008
    • 416 pages
    • ISBN: 1400082471
    • ISBN: 1400082471
  • Dynamics of Software Development (Best Practices)

    The book’s content is great and very well written. Not taking into account Software for your Head (same authors), I think it’s alone in i’s own category.

    However, I was a bit disappointed by the 2006 edition. I have never read the previous one, but all the edition adds is a few annotations in the core of the book and an appendix.

    • Authors: Jim McCarthy
    • Publisher: Microsoft Press
    • Publication date: August, 2006
    • 224 pages
    • ISBN: 0735623198
    • ISBN: 0735623198
  • Effective Software Testing 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Testing

    I was disappointed by this one. It’s not that the content of the book is wrong or boring, it’s simply not what I was expecting. I was looking for practical approaches to improve unit testing. What I got was general testing concepts and guidelines to use when building a software testing plan. I did get something out of the book. Just not what I was looking for. I would still recommend it if you want to learn about the entire testing cycle.

    • Authors: Elfriede Dustin
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: December, 2002
    • 304 pages
    • ISBN: 0201794292
    • ISBN: 0201794292
  • Essential PHP Security

    • Authors: Chris Shiflett
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    • Publication date: October, 2005
    • 124 pages
    • ISBN: 059600656X
    • ISBN: 059600656X
  • Extending and Embedding PHP (Developer’s Library)

    • Authors: Sara Golemon
    • Publisher: Sams
    • Publication date: June, 2006
    • 456 pages
    • ISBN: 067232704X
    • ISBN: 067232704X
  • Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering (Agile Software Development)

    If you have been around software development for several years and kept yourself moderately up to date, there is not so much to learn from this book. However, the purpose of the book is not to teach anything, but to act as a reminder. For that purpose, it’s excellent. A very short read with thought provoking ideas.

    • Authors: Robert L. Glass
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: November, 2002
    • 224 pages
    • ISBN: 0321117425
    • ISBN: 0321117425
  • Fearless Change Patterns for Introducing New Ideas

    The book is rich in content. Once you step away from the fanaticism it contains, there are useful tips on how to get ideas accepted and it provides insights on how different stereotypes of people think and want to be addressed.

    The book contains many examples. To me, one of the strong points is that half of the examples are about applying the concepts to software development, which is a change from the usual manufacturing-type examples that don’t make any sense in my reality. However, the big downside is that the other half is about deploying patterns for knowledge management. Seriously, a pattern book talking about patterns. It’s really annoying and made in an excruciatingly enthusiastic way by using way too many exclamation marks.

    • Authors: Mary Lynn Manns, Linda Rising
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
    • Publication date: September, 2004
    • 273 pages
    • ISBN: 0201741571
    • ISBN: 0201741571
  • Fit for Developing Software Framework for Integrated Tests (Robert C. Martin Series)

    The book feels like reading a story. It’s entirely based on agile principles, which really is the foundation of Fit. At some point, it almost felt like evangelism. The book is worth reading, but the information density is fairly low. I didn’t feel I knew so much about Fit and I didn’t feel I learned much more. The processes involved are interesting and well exposed.

    The major downside of the book is that the use case it follows throughout the text is just yet an other example of mind-numbing inventory system. It takes a lot of creativity afterwards to see Fit in a useful context.

    • Authors: Rick Mugridge, Ward Cunningham
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
    • Publication date: July, 2005
    • 384 pages
    • ISBN: 0321269349
    • ISBN: 0321269349
  • Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience

    • Authors: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
    • Publisher: Harper Perennial
    • Publication date: March, 1991
    • 320 pages
    • ISBN: 0060920432
    • ISBN: 0060920432
  • Founders at Work Stories of Startups’ Early Days

    I bought this book without reading the description. If Amazon recommends it, it must be good. When I received it, I wasn’t too sure if I was going to like it. The book is a collection of interviews made with technology start-up founders. I was really surprised by it. The book was fun to read and truly inspiring. While all interviews are independent, they often refer to the same people or the same situations.

    If you plan on starting a business and would rather learn from other’s mistakes than make them yourself, spend a few hours reading this one.

    • Authors: Jessica Livingston
    • Publisher: Apress
    • Publication date: January, 2007
    • 500 pages
    • ISBN: 1590597141
    • ISBN: 1590597141
  • Free The Future of a Radical Price

    A brilliant lesson of economy. Definitely a must-read if you believe the only way to make money out of software is to place advertising or to charge customers for access. Anderson explains the different revenue models, how they evolved over time, and especially how the drive towards zero is inevitable.

    I was expecting something more about open source, but it turns out it’s only part of the discussion.

    • Authors: Chris Anderson
    • Publisher: Hyperion
    • Publication date: July, 2009
    • 288 pages
    • ISBN: 1401322905
    • ISBN: 1401322905
  • Free Software, Free Society Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman

    • Authors: Richard M. Stallman, Lawrence Lessig
    • Publisher: Free Software Foundation
    • 224 pages
    • ISBN: 1882114981
    • ISBN: 1882114981
  • Good Business Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning

    Just like Flow, the book is filled with stories. Excellent research work was made to produce this book. The result is thought provoking and very easy to read. I was disappointed with a few chapters because they brought nothing too specific if you read some of his previous work. The topic is really the same as the one covered in Flow, only applied to business and vision.

    • Authors: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
    • Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
    • Publication date: March, 2004
    • 256 pages
    • ISBN: 014200409x
    • ISBN: 014200409x
  • Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests

    The book introduces test driven development through a new angle. To the authors, it has nothing to do with regression suites, or almost. Having tests to protect your code from unwanted changes is only brought up half way through the book. TDD is about design and development. One aspect they focus on I had not seen previously is the functional-level test suites that drive the code from a story-level perspective.

    The book is a good read, but it has too much of an emphasis on Java and jMock and spends a significant part of the discussion dealing with issues related to the technologies used in the project. It’s good to see the process by which the issues are resolved, but I’m not really convinced the examples used are broad enough to be generalized. I preferred the variety in Working Effectively with Legacy Code.

    Otherwise, the book remains a good introduction to TDD and has a good take on functional end-to-end tests, which is a hard issue to tackle in most projects.

    • Authors: Steve Freeman, Nat Pryce
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: October, 2009
    • 384 pages
    • ISBN: 0321503627
    • ISBN: 0321503627
  • HTML5 Up and Running

    • Authors: Mark Pilgrim
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media
    • Publication date: 2010-08-24
    • 222 pages
    • ISBN: 0596806027
    • ISBN: 0596806027
  • Hackers and Painters Big Ideas from the Computer Age

    I wouldn’t say every essay in the book is good, but most of them are. Unlike most books, this one does not really have a central focus, which is great. Every time I had some time to read, I would read something completely different.

    • Authors: Paul Graham
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    • 271 pages
    • ISBN: 0596006624
    • ISBN: 0596006624
  • High Performance MySQL Optimization, Backups, Replication, and More

    I spent a few months on this one. The content is very dense. Every paragraph in the book is making a point and there is very little redundancy. The objectivity of the book is impressive. Because of the focus on MySQL, I was expecting the authors to be sold to it, but not at all. Definitely a must read for anyone building large applications using MySQL.

    The only downside would be that there is some scope creep in the book. The subject is covered throughly, but sometimes slips towards general performance aspects rather than performance. Coming from little server administration background, I found it useful, but I suspect some readers might be bored by it.

    • Authors: Baron Schwartz, Peter Zaitsev, Vadim Tkachenko, Jeremy Zawodny, Arjen Lentz, Derek Balling
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    • Publication date: June, 2008
    • 708 pages
    • ISBN: 0596101716
    • ISBN: 0596101716
  • How Google Tests Software

    I had quite a few courses on software quality and processes. This list also contains quite a few books. However, this one is very different. For once, it does not feel abstract. It handles constraints from the real world (Google-scale ones, but still real ones). It goes through the different roles within the company and how each of them contributes to ensuring the quality of the software built. Even though the book rarely goes into the specifics, and many of the practices will not apply to smaller organizations, there is a lot of inspiration and ideas to be taken from it.

    My only complaint would be the format. The topics could have been broken down into chapters, leaving what are currently chapters to be sections.

    • Authors: James A. Whittaker, Jason Arbon, Jeff Carollo
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: 2012-03-23
    • 320 pages
    • ISBN: 0321803027
    • ISBN: 0321803027
  • Human-Machine Reconfigurations Plans and Situated Actions (Learning in Doing

    If my library wasn’t a complete disorganized mess, I really wouldn’t know how to classify this one. It’s mainly about the interactions between humans and machines, but it dwells quite far into artificial intelligence. Some parts are close to science fiction movies and others are various tales from past centuries. I must say I got lost a few times while reading. The book was written partially for a PhD thesis, so the text is very dense, contains a tremendous amount of reference and details every single term used. I found the chapter on planning to be most interesting of all.

    • Authors: Lucy Suchman
    • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    • Publication date: December, 2006
    • 326 pages
    • ISBN: 052167588X
    • ISBN: 052167588X
  • Implementation Patterns (The Addison-Wesley Signature Series)

    Disappointing. Not only the book is very short, it has very little content. I don’t think I learned anything from it or got any value out of it. Sure, it gives some perspectives on decision-making criteria when writing code, but it really does not contain any revelation. The topic could have been covered by 1-2 articles easily. Plus, it was way too Java-centric to contain the “pattern book” appellation.

    • Authors: Kent Beck
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: November, 2007
    • 176 pages
    • ISBN: 0321413091
    • ISBN: 0321413091
  • Intelligence Artificielle

    The original English version is probably better, the translation is not great. I read part of this one as support material to a course. It provides a good, in depth, content and demonstrates a wide variety of techniques and algorithms.

    • Authors: Stewart Russell, Peter Norvig
    • Publisher: Pearson Education
    • 1184 pages
    • ISBN: 2744071501
    • ISBN: 2744071501
  • Introduction to Algorithms

    Most of the algorithms you need to understand to go through a computer science degree are explained in this book and trade-offs are well exposed. It’s a good reference, but not really an interesting read.

    • Authors: Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein
    • Publisher: The MIT Press
    • Publication date: September, 2001
    • 1184 pages
    • ISBN: 0262032937
    • ISBN: 0262032937
  • JavaScript the good parts

    Excellent reminder of the portions of JavaScript that are worth using. The book is very thin and reads very quickly. A must read for anyone using JavaScript even infrequently.

    • Authors: Douglas Crockford
    • Publisher: O’Reilly
    • Publication date: 2008-05-15
    • 153 pages
    • ISBN: 0596517742
    • ISBN: 0596517742
  • JavaScript The Definitive Guide (Nutshell Handbook)

    • Authors: David Flanagan
    • Publisher: O’Reilly
    • 664 pages
    • ISBN: 1565922344
    • ISBN: 1565922344
  • Joel on Software And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity

    Joel has brilliant ideas. This book contains answers to about every question you may have about software management. The main complaint I have with this book, which is the same as other books written by Joel, is that it really only is a collection of articles. There is no coherent structure to it and some ideas are repeated multiple times. I think some paragraphs are re-used as well. It really is worth reading, but I wish it were a real book.

    • Authors: Joel Spolsky
    • Publisher: Apress
    • Publication date: August, 2004
    • 362 pages
    • ISBN: 1590593898
    • ISBN: 1590593898
  • Lean Architecture for Agile Software Development

    • Authors: James O. Coplien, Gertrud Bjørnvig
    • Publisher: Wiley
    • Publication date: July, 2010
    • 376 pages
    • ISBN: 0470684208
    • ISBN: 0470684208
  • Living with Complexity

    • Authors: Donald A. Norman
    • Publisher: The MIT Press
    • Publication date: 2010-10-29
    • 312 pages
    • ISBN: 0262014866
  • Making Software What Really Works, and Why We Believe It

    • Authors: Andy Oram, Greg Wilson
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc
    • Publication date: October, 2010
    • 624 pages
    • ISBN: 0596808321
    • ISBN: 0596808321
  • Managing Humans Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager

    The book is very easy to read. Tiny chapters, various topics. The author provides a great portrait of management in software companies from team leaders to middle management and executives.

    The book is so good, I read the last half in a day.

    • Authors: Michael Lopp
    • Publisher: Apress
    • Publication date: June, 2007
    • 209 pages
    • ISBN: 159059844X
    • ISBN: 159059844X
  • Managing Software Requirements A Use Case Approach (2nd Edition) (The Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series)

    • Authors: Dean Leffingwell, Don Widrig
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: May, 2003
    • 544 pages
    • ISBN: 032112247X
    • ISBN: 032112247X
  • Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations

    • Authors: Robert D. Austin
    • Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
    • 216 pages
    • ISBN: 0932633366
    • ISBN: 0932633366
  • Metaprogramming GPUs with Sh

    • Authors: Michael McCool, Stefanus DuToit, Stefanus Du Toit
    • Publisher: AK Peters
    • Publication date: July, 2004
    • 307 pages
    • ISBN: 1568812299
    • ISBN: 1568812299
  • Object-Oriented Design & Patterns

    • Authors: Cay S. Horstmann
    • Publisher: Wiley
    • Publication date: April, 2003
    • 464 pages
    • ISBN: 047131966X
    • ISBN: 047131966X
  • Operating System Concepts (7th Edition)

    Before reading this book, I thought that operating systems internals had to be complex. The book is very easy to read and demystifies most ideas you can have about complexity. Most examples are from Solaris, but Windows and Linux are also used in some examples.

    The front page does not look serious at all, but the content is.

    • Authors: Abraham Silberschatz, Peter Baer Galvin, Greg Gagne
    • Publisher: Wiley
    • Publication date: December, 2004
    • 944 pages
    • ISBN: 0471694665
    • ISBN: 0471694665
  • PSP(sm) A Self-Improvement Process for Software Engineers (The SEI Series in Software Engineering)

    Before reading this book, I was skeptical about the whole development process idea. I saw it presented some rigid management issue too often. PSP leaves the large organizational processes and places the focus on the developers.

    As the title indicates, the book proposes a simple, adaptable, process for self-improvement. Based on metrics, it allows to keep a clear view on the development and helps avoiding the same problems in the future.

    • Authors: Watts S. Humphrey
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: March, 2005
    • 368 pages
    • ISBN: 0321305493
    • ISBN: 0321305493
  • Peer Reviews in Software A Practical Guide (Addison-Wesley Information Technology Series)

    • Authors: Karl E. Wiegers
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: November, 2001
    • 256 pages
    • ISBN: 0201734850
    • ISBN: 0201734850
  • Peopleware Productive Projects and Teams (Second Edition)

    • Authors: Tom DeMarco, Timothy Lister
    • Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
    • Publication date: February, 1999
    • 245 pages
    • ISBN: 0932633439
    • ISBN: 0932633439
  • Practical Project Initiation A Handbook with Tools (Best Practices)

    • Authors: Karl E. Wiegers
    • Publisher: Microsoft Press
    • Publication date: 2007-08-15
    • 224 pages
    • ISBN: 0735625212
    • ISBN: 0735625212
  • Practical Software Estimation Function Point Methods for Insourced and Outsourced Projects

    The book was not quite as practical as I would have hoped for. Overall, McConnell’s Software Estimation brings more value. This one covers the function point better (which is almost absent from McConnell’s). Generally, the author takes a very high level approach to estimation and has a severe bias towards the waterfall model and outsourcing development. There are a few interesting points in the book on individual aspects of the estimation process, but fails to explain the transitions between them.

    The format of the book makes it extremely hard to read. The text verbose and lacks supporting illustrations. Lists and tables are used randomly for no apparent reason, containing paragraphs of text just as dense as the rest. I couldn’t really read more than 20 pages per session before drifting off.

    • Authors: M. A. Parthasarathy
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: March, 2007
    • 432 pages
    • ISBN: 0321439104
    • ISBN: 0321439104
  • Pragmatic Thinking and Learning Refactor Your Wetware (Pragmatic Programmers)

    The book distills a lot of theory about psychology and translates it to practical situations in the context of development work. There is a strong focus on tricks you can use to improve yourself. The introduction chapters are outstanding, I had the feeling this would be my #1 book for a long time. However, the rest of it did not give the same feeling. Still a highly recommended reading, but it does not qualify as a classic.

    • Authors: Andy Hunt
    • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
    • Publication date: October, 2008
    • 279 pages
    • ISBN: 1934356050
    • ISBN: 1934356050
  • Professional Node.js Building Javascript Based Scalable Software

    OK overview of the node.js ecosystem. However, it contains a lot of code samples, many of which are very poor in quality. It does not use best practices in most cases, not even those promoted in the previous chapters in many cases.

    Many of the chapters could have been removed as the content quality does not match some of the other ones. Clearly the author has more depth in some areas and it would have been wise to stay away from the other ones.

    • Authors: Pedro Teixeira
    • Publisher: Wrox
    • Publication date: 2012-10-05
    • 408 pages
    • ISBN: 1118185463
    • ISBN: 1118185463
  • Professional Software Development Shorter Schedules, Higher Quality Products, More Successful Projects, Enhanced Careers

    • Authors: Steve McConnell
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: July, 2003
    • 272 pages
    • ISBN: 0321193679
    • ISBN: 0321193679
  • Programming Collective Intelligence Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications

    This book presents many useful algorithms to deal with large amounts of data. They allow to understand the data and extract useful information out of it. The book is great and presents a wide variety of real-life examples. Probably the best example selection I have seen in a book. My only problem with this book is that it contains too many code samples. Most of them could have been made available online or in an appendix without loosing any value.

    If you work on a public web application collecting a lot of information about users, this is a must have on your shelf. I expect it to be as good as a reference as it was on the first read.

    • Authors: Toby Segaran
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    • Publication date: August, 2007
    • 360 pages
    • ISBN: 0596529325
    • ISBN: 0596529325
  • Rapid development taming wild software schedules

    • Authors: Steve McConnell
    • Publisher: Microsoft Press
    • Publication date: 1996-07-09
    • 647 pages
    • ISBN: 1556159005
    • ISBN: 1556159005
  • Reality Check The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition

    In what is most likely to be the best MBA joke book ever published, Guy explains some of hard learned lessons in a rich in experience book. Reading is very light and thought provoking. The base principles of his entrepreneur philosophy are well outlined and followed through from cover to cover.

    I found the last few chapters to be a little off-topic, but the rest of it is well worth reading.

    • Authors: Guy Kawasaki
    • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
    • Publication date: October, 2008
    • 496 pages
    • ISBN: 1591842239
    • ISBN: 1591842239
  • Refactoring Improving the Design of Existing Code

    Refactoring has been an essential part of my development process for a long time. I mostly read the book for completeness. Perhaps there were a few tricks in there I had not picked-up on over time.

    The book is not bad, but it aged quite a lot. It is still accurate, but the profession has matured and absorbed all of the content into other practices.

    • Authors: Martin Fowler
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: 1999-06-28
    • 464 pages
    • ISBN: 0201485672
    • ISBN: 0201485672
  • Release It! Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software (Pragmatic Programmers)

    This book is about building robust systems that will work in production environments. It really fills a space that was previously empty with most work done on the development process. This one is all about operations and the aspects that need to be designed in the software to let it live long and without too much trouble.

    It’s well written and filled with real-life scenarios used to explain the concepts. There is however some inconsistencies. Early on, there is a clear pattern: use case, anti-patterns, patterns. However, this great formula drops at some point and there is a series of very short chapters feeling half-complete compared to the really solid first ones.

    Otherwise, my only issue with the content is that a lot of the content is really focused on Java. Not that it’s a bad decision to provide concrete examples, but some variety would have been nice. The issues tackled cross technology frontiers, but the solutions were really platform-specific.

    • Authors: Michael T. Nygard
    • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
    • Publication date: March, 2007
    • 326 pages
    • ISBN: 0978739213
    • ISBN: 0978739213
  • Return on Software Maximizing the Return on Your Software Investment

    I have a divided feeling about this one. On one hand, the introduction and the conclusion are right on the topic. However, the part in-between does not really live to the expectations. The first half of the book is all about finances and playing with numbers. I’ve had a course about this before and my main problem with this section of the book is that it’s basically a transcript of any other book on the subject. The examples are rarely adapted to software and the theory itself is explained in VP Finance terms rather than engineer terms, making the whole transcript pointless.

    The second half of the book makes up for it by using better examples and being much closer to the software realities. Of course, the parts I found the most interesting were about estimation, but very little new content was in.

    • Authors: Steve Tockey
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: November, 2008
    • 656 pages
    • ISBN: 032156149X
    • ISBN: 032156149X
  • Rework

    I respect the authors for their development philosophies and what they achieved. I don’t use rails and mostly disliked my experience with basecamp, but I still respect the company. However, this book is empty. It could have been condensed to booklet of 40 pages just by stripping the bad illustrations, blank pages and adjusting the font size to something more reasonable. Then, it could have been cut in half by removing the duplication in the content.

    There are a few good points made. Most of it I agree with instinctively. The problem is that none of those points are supported with any argument stronger than “we did it and it worked”. Do yourself a favor, don’t build your company around the mantras in this book.

    • Authors: Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
    • Publisher: Crown Business
    • Publication date: March, 2010
    • 288 pages
    • ISBN: 0307463745
    • ISBN: 0307463745
  • SQL Antipatterns Avoiding the Pitfalls of Database Programming

    • Authors: Bill Karwin
    • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
    • Publication date: 2010-07-02
    • 328 pages
    • ISBN: 1934356557
    • ISBN: 1934356557
  • Scaling Lean & Agile Development Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum

    The book is not so much about scaling agile as it’s about Scrum, looking at the organization as a whole and breaking functional groups. The book contains a lot of research. There is a terrific amount of references to support the claims. However, it mostly sells to top level managers. The companion book seems to have more practical advice for those actually working on projects.

    • Authors: Craig Larman, Bas Vodde
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: December, 2008
    • 368 pages
    • ISBN: 0321480961
    • ISBN: 0321480961
  • Scaling Software Agility Best Practices for Large Enterprises (The Agile Software Development Series)

    This is probably the best book I have read in a long time. Leffingwell proposes a great explanation of agile practices and puts an end to the typical packaged methodologies. Instead, practices are explained one by one and the selection is left to the enterprise. The book is targeted primarily at the executive type, but it explains really well what the advantages are and how it can scale up.

    I found the last 2 chapters to be less interesting, mostly because they couldn’t reach me. Otherwise, the book is a gem. Facts are well supported and content is clear.

    • Authors: Dean Leffingwell
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: March, 2007
    • 384 pages
    • ISBN: 0321458192
    • ISBN: 0321458192
  • Secrets of Consulting A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully

    • Authors: Gerald M. Weinberg
    • Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
    • 228 pages
    • ISBN: 0932633013
    • ISBN: 0932633013
  • Slack Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency

    Very convincing, but it certainly does not sound intuitive at first. Gaining speed by slowing down certainly does not fit in the normal management scheme. As always, arguments are well supported by DeMarco. I had the feeling the last few chapters on risk management were out of place, but only because I read Waltzing with Bears a long time ago.

    • Authors: Tom DeMarco
    • Publisher: Broadway
    • Publication date: April, 2002
    • 256 pages
    • ISBN: 0767907698
    • ISBN: 0767907698
  • Smart and Gets Things Done Joel Spolsk’s Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent

    Joel’s writing is excellent. I only wish there was more of it. The book is really short and is only really a collection of articles already published on the web with introductions and conclusions modified to keep the topics in flow.

    • Authors: Joel Spolsky
    • Publisher: Apress
    • Publication date: May, 2007
    • 182 pages
    • ISBN: 1590598385
    • ISBN: 1590598385
  • Software Architecture in Practice (2nd Edition) (The SEI Series in Software Engineering)

    • Authors: Len Bass, Paul Clements, Rick Kazman
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: April, 2003
    • 560 pages
    • ISBN: 0321154959
    • ISBN: 0321154959
  • Software Configuration Management Patterns Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration (Software Patterns Series)

    It was the first time I read something about configuration management that was so accessible. The book proposes a few simple patterns that can be used to obtain proper configuration management and clearly states the dependencies between them. The best part is that configuration management is not covered as a standalone topic. It’s tied in to the release processes and development cycles. A single path is not proposed. Following the pattern concept, multiple solutions are proposed and they should be applied in the appropriate situation.

    I consider this book is a must-read for anyone leading a project to ensure long-term sustainability of the code base. For those not in a leading position, it can be a good addition in order to get a broader view of the development effort.

    • Authors: Stephen P. Berczuk, Brad Appleton
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: November, 2003
    • 218 pages
    • ISBN: 0201741172
    • ISBN: 0201741172
  • Software Craftsmanship The New Imperative

    While I mostly agree with McBreen on how software development should be learned and the attitude practitioners should have towards it, I am a bit shocked by his definition of software engineering, which is entirely antagonized in the book. It’s based on old facts. In that sense, the book shows some age. It was published in 2001 and in that respect, it really shows it’s age. I studied software engineering and I don’t recognize at all what he is describing.

    There is also a fair amount of repetition. 200 pages might have been too much to cover this topic.

    • Authors: Pete McBreen
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: September, 2001
    • 208 pages
    • ISBN: 0201733862
    • ISBN: 0201733862
  • Software Engineering Theory and Practice (2nd Edition)

    This book’s title is misleading. In fact, there is no practice, only theory. Not theory actually. Definitions. Unless you are absolutely forced to buy it for a course, stay away from it.

    • Authors: Shari Lawrence Pfleeger
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall
    • Publication date: February, 2001
    • 659 pages
    • ISBN: 0130290491
    • ISBN: 0130290491
  • Software Estimation Demystifying the Black Art (Best Practices (Microsoft))

    Once again, McConnell has it all right. The book presents many techniques and exposes their advantages and inconvenients. For each technique, the ranges of applicability is detailed and tips on how to tailor the usage to specific needs are proposed. The content of the book seems well suited for small projects to very large ones.

    It goes much further than simply maths by explaining the economics of estimation and how to build a sane environment. Definitely worth reading for any software developer. I would only add Humphrey’s PSP for the data collection specific items which are not detailed in this one.

    • Authors: Steve McConnell
    • Publisher: Microsoft Press
    • Publication date: March, 2006
    • 308 pages
    • ISBN: 0735605351
    • ISBN: 0735605351
  • Software Project Survival Guide

    The book makes an overview of an average software development process as promoted by McConnell. There are some very interesting details and sufficient information is provided to adapt to your own situation. However, none of the practices are covered in full depth. I would recommend this one to managers who know very little about software development. It’s a good introduction. I personally found the last few chapters most useful as the topics related to closing the projects and releasing software are rarely covered for unknown reasons.

    • Authors: Steve McConnell
    • Publisher: Microsoft Press
    • Publication date: February, 2003
    • ISBN: 0072850612
    • ISBN: 0072850612
  • Software Quality Assurance From Theory to Implementation

    • Authors: Daniel Galin
    • Publisher: Addison Wesley
    • Publication date: September, 2003
    • 616 pages
    • ISBN: 0201709457
    • ISBN: 0201709457
  • Software for Your Head Core Protocols for Creating and Maintaining Shared Vision

    Totally refreshing. The book studies developer interactions in a project and documents patterns. The patterns have somewhat funny names and you would probably appear to be a fool if proposing them in a work environment. The reason I enjoyed this book so much is that it describes common pitfalls that occur in meetings and explains how to avoid them. Without naming the patterns, I could re-orient meetings in a productive way a few times.

    • Authors: Jim McCarthy, Michele McCarthy
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: January, 2002
    • 464 pages
    • ISBN: 0201604566
    • ISBN: 0201604566
  • Système de gestion de base de donnée par l’exemple

    This book could have killed much less trees if it didn’t go so deep in details about the implementation of every kind of database that ever existed. Reading this book leaves the impression that it was the author’s purpose to write as many pages as possible. Everything is introduced at least 3 times. There is so much redundant information, there is no way to find what you really are searching for. Course material. Never would have read it otherwise.

    Favorite fact about this book: page 34 and 38 have a verbatim copy of a 12 line paragraph. Only differences are the 3 introduction words and the referenced figure (page 34 refers to page 37 and page 38 refers to page 23). I got that weird feeling of déjà-vù while reading.

    • Authors: Robert Godin
    • Publisher: Loze-Dion éditeur inc.
    • Publication date: January, 2008
    • 1195 pages
    • ISBN: 2921180480
    • ISBN: 2921180480
  • Sécurité PHP 5 et MySQL

    A great book on PHP security covering a lot of topics not mentioned anywhere else in such a comprehensive manner. Sadly, i’s only available in French.

    • Authors: Damien Séguy et Philippe Gamache
    • Publisher: Eryolles
    • Publication date: July, 2007
    • 249 pages
    • ISBN: 2212121148
    • ISBN: 2212121148
  • TSP(SM)-Leading a Development Team (The SEI Series in Software Engineering)

    • Authors: Watts S. Humphrey
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: September, 2005
    • 336 pages
    • ISBN: 0321349628
    • ISBN: 0321349628
  • Tapping into Unstructured Data Integrating Unstructured Data and Textual Analytics into Business Intelligence

    This one has to be my worst purchase ever. The book is extremely poorly written and overillustrated. It wouldn’t be so bad if the illustrations were meaningful and brought additional value, but they don’t. Some pages contain up to three illustrations separated by small paragraphs just describing what you see, not how to interpret it. Terrible.

    The first half of the book explains the problems. Over and over again. Nearly the same words and the same examples for a hundred page. The second half keeps repeating the first one, but with a lower density. At times, I got to ask myself if the authors knew anything about the topic and I still ask myself how Prentice Hall could accept to get this under press.

    Overall, the book must contain 10 pages of insightful information, but it’s really about glorified text search.

    • Authors: William H. Inmon, Anthony Nesavich
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
    • Publication date: December, 2007
    • 264 pages
    • ISBN: 0132360292
    • ISBN: 0132360292
  • Test Driven Development By Example

    Beck makes it look easy. Not just testing, but software development as a whole. With a simple message: take small steps, don’t think too far ahead. The book gives a rhythm to test driven development. I didn’t think it could be possible to explain it in a static medium, but it’s done extremely well.

    However, it does not go into much depth. If you’ve been using TDD for a while, you probably won’t get much from it, except maybe some humility.

    • Authors: Kent Beck
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: November, 2002
    • 240 pages
    • ISBN: 0321146530
    • ISBN: 0321146530
  • The 4-Hour Workweek Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

    I had to read it. It had been highly recommended by people I know from completely different industries. I can’t say I agree with everything, but some key concepts make sense, especially when it comes to productivity. I would say the book changed the way I approach some problems, or at least made me realize how I handle them.

    • Authors: Timothy Ferriss
    • Publisher: Crown
    • Publication date: April, 2007
    • 320 pages
    • ISBN: 0307353133
    • ISBN: 0307353133
  • The Agile Samurai How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software

    • Authors: Jonathan Rasmusson
    • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
    • Publication date: 2010-10-02
    • 264 pages
    • ISBN: 1934356581
    • ISBN: 1934356581
  • The Art of Capacity Planning Scaling Web Resources

    • Authors: John Allspaw
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc
    • Publication date: September 2008
    • 160 pages
    • ISBN: 0596518579
    • ISBN: 0596518579
  • The Best Software Writing I Selected and Introduced by Joel Spolsky

    • Authors: Joel Spolsky
    • Publisher: Apress
    • Publication date: June, 2005
    • 328 pages
    • ISBN: 1590595009
    • ISBN: 1590595009
  • The C++ Programming Language Special Edition (3rd Edition)

    • Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: February, 2000
    • 1030 pages
    • ISBN: 0201700735
    • ISBN: 0201700735
  • The C++ Standard Library A Tutorial and Reference

    I ordered this book at the same time as Bjarne Stroustrup’s book because Amazon recommended it. I was a little disapointed because the other book has a great coverage of the STL, which made this book not really useful at first. On the other hand, I felt back to this one almost every time I needed a STL reference afterwards.

    • Authors: Nicolai M. Josuttis
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: August, 1999
    • 832 pages
    • ISBN: 0201379260
    • ISBN: 0201379260
  • The Cathedral & the Bazaar Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary

    I have been active in the open source community for many years and actually make a living out of working on open source software. Yet, I learned a lot with this book. Eric Raymond can keep a very neutral point of view and explain the open source model extremely well. Light and enjoyable reading.

    • Authors: Eric S. Raymond
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    • Publication date: January, 2001
    • 241 pages
    • ISBN: 0596001088
    • ISBN: 0596001088
  • The Deadline A Novel About Project Management

    Certainly the best book about project management you can find out there. There is no doubt that learning through storytelling is the most efficient way around. After reading the book, you don’t only know the concepts, but have sample situations to apply the concepts to in mind.

    Not all chapters are as good. Once in a while, you can actually feel the theory or hear the author’s opinions a little too loud, but for most of the book, it’s just an enjoyable novel.

    • Authors: Tom DeMarco
    • Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
    • 320 pages
    • ISBN: 0932633390
    • ISBN: 0932633390
  • The Definitive Guide to Building Java Robots (The Definitive Guide to)

    I got this book from the remaining books for giveaway after a conference. It was a PHP conference and we had no clue after which session we could give that one. I thought it was about automating user interface tests in Java, so I grabbed it. I was wrong. It’s about building robots with wheels, legs and arms. Fairly useless to me, but I skimmed through it anyway. It was quite fast since around half the book is made up of code samples. I still learned a little about JNI and such, but nothing really interesting.

    Even if you want to build a robot as a hobby, do yourself a favor and don’t get this one. Copying too much code can’t do any good to your brain.

    • Authors: Scott Preston
    • Publisher: Apress
    • Publication date: November, 2005
    • 440 pages
    • ISBN: 1590595564
    • ISBN: 1590595564
  • The Design of Design Essays from a Computer Scientist

    As I finished reading The Mythical Man-Month earlier this year, I noticed Fred Brooks had just published a new book. I ordered it right away an it finally got to the top of my stack. This book really feels personal. Brooks attempts to bring together the many achievements in his life and find a unifying theme. Part of it is about software development, part computer architecture, part virtual environments and a lot of it is home design, in which he brings us within his family and explains various stages of his life. Although completely unrelated to software, the analogy with the evolution of design, external constraints and optimization for some quality attributes is impressive.

    • Authors: Frederick P. Brooks
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: April, 2010
    • 448 pages
    • ISBN: 0201362988
    • ISBN: 0201362988
  • The Humane Interface New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems (ACM Press)

    • Authors: Jef Raskin
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: April, 2000
    • 256 pages
    • ISBN: 0201379376
    • ISBN: 0201379376
  • The Inmates Are Running the Asylum Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity

    The primary point of the book, that an interaction design of software products should be made prior to development, makes sense. It’s not about writing hard requirements up front, but about setting priorities.However, I can’t say I appreciated reading this one. I had the feeling it was based on a distorted view of software development and no connection to reality. The book claims to propose a better process, but the process it describes as the bad one has nothing to do with best practices. The proposed process is a vague high level view with many resemblances to waterfall. Sounds good. Easy to sell. But wrong.

    The book is worth reading, but take it lightly.

    • Authors: Alan Cooper
    • Publisher: Sams – Pearson Education
    • Publication date: March, 2004
    • 288 pages
    • ISBN: 0672326140
    • ISBN: 0672326140
  • The Innovator’s DNA Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators

    I read this one during my time as a start-up entrepreneur. I figured I had to know a little more about business. To this day, many of the books I picked up are still on the to-read shelf and this book is partially to blame. It’s mostly about successful CEOs. From a start-up point of view with little resources, almost all of the ideas in there are completely useless.

    • Authors: Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, Clayton M. Christensen
    • Publisher: Harvard Business Press
    • Publication date: 2011-07-19
    • 272 pages
    • ISBN: 1422134814
    • ISBN: 1422134814
  • The Mythical Man-Month Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)

    I can’t say I learned much from the book. After all, it was written long before I was born (the 1st edition). Since then, almost everything in it has been tested out, written about in length and entire degrees have been formed around it. What was truly impressive is how accurate Brooks was. Even in one of the chapters added in 1995 for the second edition, I can see today’s reality.

    Words have changed since, but it’s shocking to see how much was already known back then. It seems we have lost a lot of it and barely start to understand again.

    • Authors: Frederick P. Brooks
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: August, 1995
    • 336 pages
    • ISBN: 0201835959
    • ISBN: 0201835959
  • The Object Constraint Language Getting Your Models Ready for MDA (2nd Edition) (The Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series)

    • Authors: Jos Warmer, Anneke Kleppe
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: September, 2003
    • 240 pages
    • ISBN: 0321179366
    • ISBN: 0321179366
  • The Passionate Programmer Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life)

    Very well written and entertaining. I’ve seen one of Chad’s presentations in the past and never got around to reading his book. When I saw this one being published, which turns out to be the second edition, even though it has a different title, I took it right away. Throughout the book, interesting parallels are made about a career in software and musical performance. Even though I can’t say I always agree, it’s a refreshing view.

    • Authors: Chad Fowler
    • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
    • Publication date: May, 2009
    • 200 pages
    • ISBN: 1934356344
    • ISBN: 1934356344
  • The Practical Guide to Defect Prevention (Best Practices)

    Defect preventions is a strange topic. It really only makes sense at lower levels, but it has to be managed at organizational levels because the feedback loops are so long. Because of this, the book’s structure is a little hard to follow. However, the content is of great quality. It appears to be based on what was learned building Windows Vista, so there is a bias towards extremely large systems.

    The interesting aspect about the book is that while it’s throughout in details about the economics of defect prevention, data collection and analysis, it does not leave the human factors behind. There are entire chapters about change management and game theory. The book proposes multiple techniques to collect data to suit various project sizes. Everyone should find something, if not only more arguments to augment the focus on quality to improve project outcomes.

    • Authors: Marc McDonald, Robert Musson, Ross Smith
    • Publisher: Microsoft Press
    • Publication date: March, 2007
    • 480 pages
    • ISBN: 0735622531
    • ISBN: 0735622531
  • The Pragmatic Programmer From Journeyman to Master

    • Authors: Andrew Hunt, David Thomas
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: October, 1999
    • 352 pages
    • ISBN: 020161622X
    • ISBN: 020161622X
  • The Productive Programmer (Theory in Practice (O’Reilly))

    Very quick read, but light in content. Half of the book is quick tips given for the different development environments (Windows, Mac OSX and Linux), which means most of it is irrelevant, but there are a few good ones hidden inside. The second half is mostly about best practices and has a strong focus on Java, but remains applicable to other platforms. There is very little new content that cannot be found elsewhere in more depth. I don’t know how much you actually learn from it if you don’t know about the related theory up front. The author has very strong opinions and is not scared of telling them, so if anything, the book is an entertaining read.

    • Authors: Neal Ford
    • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
    • Publication date: July, 2008
    • 222 pages
    • ISBN: 0596519788
    • ISBN: 0596519788
  • The Public Domain Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

    For me, the book demystified the concept of intellectual property by explaining the various components and some of the variants around the world. The evolution of those rights is scary to say the least. Every knowledge worker or anyone involved in a creative process should read it.

    • Authors: Prof. James Boyle
    • Publisher: Yale University Press
    • Publication date: January, 2010
    • 336 pages
    • ISBN: 0300158343
    • ISBN: 0300158343
  • The Web Startup Success Guide (Books for Professionals by Professionals)

    I did not really know what to expect from this book. Just one of those I read to explore new topics. It’s not bad, but it’s not the kind of content that will have a very long lifespan. The early chapters refer to a bunch of tools and startups which will probably disappear in the near future, if not already done. I found the chapter on capital raising troubling as the author admitted not to have done it himself. Luckily, most of the content of the book is well supported by interviews.

    • Authors: Bob Walsh
    • Publisher: Apress
    • Publication date: July, 2009
    • 440 pages
    • ISBN: 1430219858
    • ISBN: 1430219858
  • Tribes We Need You to Lead Us

    It’s written by a marketting author. Very easy to read. Lots of annecdotes to support the facts, but very little support otherwise. It felt like reading a new invented term and giving it all the meanings required to make an argument about it. When I first held it, I felt it was small. By the end, I was happy it was. The same argument is repeated over and over again. There is very little value added beyond page 20.

    • Authors: Seth Godin
    • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
    • Publication date: October, 2008
    • 160 pages
    • ISBN: 1591842336
    • ISBN: 1591842336
  • UML Distilled A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (3rd Edition) (The Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series)

    As a quick UML reference, it’s great. Some chapters could have been trimmed off and make the reference even thinner.

    • Authors: Martin Fowler
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: September, 2003
    • 208 pages
    • ISBN: 0321193687
    • ISBN: 0321193687
  • Waltzing With Bears Managing Risk on Software Projects

    • Authors: Tom DeMarco, Timothy Lister
    • Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
    • 144 pages
    • ISBN: 0932633609
    • ISBN: 0932633609
  • Web Operations Keeping the Data On Time

    This book made me realize how different operation’s work is different from development. It is an entirely different universe of tools and standards.

    • Authors: John Allspaw, Jesse Robbins
    • Publisher: Shroff
    • Publication date: 2010
    • 360 pages
    • ISBN: 9789350230589
    • ISBN: 9789350230589
  • Wikinomics How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

    More about “nomics” than “wiki”. The book is mostly addressed to executives trying to understand the new world than to those who, like me, were born in it. What I found interesting is to learn about the target audience, not really the content of the book itself. Not really certain why there is such a praise for this one.

    • Authors: Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams
    • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
    • Publication date: April, 2008
    • 368 pages
    • ISBN: 1591841933
    • ISBN: 1591841933
  • Winning with Software An Executive Strategy (The SEI Series in Software Engineering)

    Humphrey’s writing is amazing. This book is targeted towards executives, and you can feel it in every word, every chapter structure. Probably a good gift to make to your boss when the pressure is too high.

    It mostly sells PSP/TSP and speak of numbers, but it contains some interesting data.

    • Authors: Watts S. Humphrey
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
    • Publication date: December, 2001
    • 256 pages
    • ISBN: 0201776391
    • ISBN: 0201776391
  • Working Effectively with Legacy Code

    A very practical and down to Earth guide to understanding and improving old code. The book is filled with examples coming from various types of projects (mostly C++ and Java). I don’t think much was left out. I could recognize many situations I came across over time and having read the book beforehand would have helped a lot.

    The viewpoint of the author is one of the most radical I have seen. If the code is not tested, it’s legacy code. Most of the book thus covers strategies to test legacy code in order to be able to modify it afterwards. Not an easy task. I would say most of the value is in the first half. After a while, there is some repetition. A large portion is meant to be used as a reference, which explains the duplication of information.

    • Authors: Michael Feathers
    • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
    • Publication date: October, 2004
    • 456 pages
    • ISBN: 0131177052
    • ISBN: 0131177052
  • Your Brain The Missing Manual

    This one is in the same line-up as Pragmatic Thinking and Learning, giving productivity tricks based on theory from neurology and psychology. This one has a good way of vulgarizing the complexity of the brain while leaving a clear message that’s it’s not entirely accurate and that research is not always conclusive. I found the theory to be interesting, but the tricks felt like a self-help book and that was really annoying to read. If you have to choose, go for the pragmatic one and not this one.

    • Authors: Matthew MacDonald
    • Publisher: Pogue Press
    • Publication date: May, 2008
    • 280 pages
    • ISBN: 0596517785
    • ISBN: 0596517785
  • Zend Enterprise PHP Patterns (Expert’s Voice)

    I had two reasons for reading this one. The first one was that, taking away the “enterprise word”, the topics are fairly new in the PHP world. The second is that I have met both authors several times.

    My opinion on the book is divided. I fully agree on the selection of topics covered and I think some of them were covered extremely well, although I would have wanted more depth. However, there is a lot of fluctuation. From one chapter to the next, you can jump from high level system architecture organization to implementation level details with too many code samples for my taste.

    One of the downside of the book is that it’s strongly focused around Zend’s commercial offering (mostly Zend Platform). Based on the title and that John has been leading it for years, it was to be expected.

    The book is a good primer to maintaining production environments and general scalability concepts, but in no way a complete reference.

    • Authors: John Coggeshall, Morgan Tocker
    • Publisher: Apress
    • Publication date: August, 2009
    • 280 pages
    • ISBN: 1430219742
    • ISBN: 1430219742
  • Zend PHP Certification Study Guide (Developer’s Library)

    • Authors: Zend Technologies
    • Publisher: Sams
    • Publication date: August, 2004
    • 264 pages
    • ISBN: 0672327090
    • ISBN: 0672327090

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