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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Financial Modeling - 2nd Edition
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Simon Benninga
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Extraordinarily helpful

I highly recommend this book to any aspiring financial analyst. It is definitely worth it, even at the list price.
Want to master the fundamentals of basic finance using Excel? then this is one of the few books on the market that really meet this need. Want to set up more advanced mathmatics modeling? well as the introduction of this explains, this book is more like a cookbook: it lists the required basic ingredients and the culinary process but if you want to spice the dish (financial model) up, it is up to the individuals to dig out those advanced formulas from the financial trade journals and apply them to the models.
I first saw the first edition of this book in my college library. took it home and was EXCITED. I was looking for a practical book that would show me the intricacies of Excel for setting up financial models and this was like a god-sent. Like one of the other reviewers said, this book combined basic finance, Excel functions, and VBA programming. To add practicality to this book, Professor Benninga even showed how to download financial data from the internet. Granted it is rather basic, but it adds to the usability of his book, making it a well-round book.
The best parts are end-of-the chapter exercises. Solutions are provided in the accompanying CD-ROM. See how many ways can you solve the same problem.
Professor Benninga always outlines the assumptions and explains the parameters of each model. We should remember that in many instances, unrealistic assumptions lead to way-of-the mark numbers, rendering the whole modeling process and its calculations useless.
Want to become a advanced-level financial modeler? then master the fundamentals first! this book gets you started.
P.S. I also highly recommend to anyone just starting with Excel modeling to read William J. Orvis's Excel for Scientists and Engineers. It is a bit outdated but still highly useful for its chapters on curve fitting, VBA programming and raw data manipulation.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Agile Software Development
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Alistair Cockburn
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must read for anyone interesting in software development

This book is well written, "crystal clear" :) and I learned a lot. In fact, I learned more in this book than any other about software development. The reason is very simple, it tells you what's important and what is not. This book is about software development in general, not specially the "Agile Methodologie".
If your looking for THE METHODOLOGIE, well, that aint the book you need (but read it anyway... you'll change your mind about searching for a "silver bullet". From my own experience: I made that mistake... And I'm so glad I made it). But if you need a comprehensive book about how software development works (or doesnt) this is it.
This book start with the most important part of the software development: People.Naturally, with more than one person, you'll need: Communication.This book also talks about how communication can impact the software development.Finally, this book talks about methodologies and why you need agility and to be able to self-adapt.
This book is truly a must read or a must read twice. To be able to fully appreciate this book, I strongly suggest that you familiarised yourself with a few methodology like XP, UP or any other.
If you have bad experience in a software development team, this book might help you to found out what was wrong and specially how to correct the situation.
If this review does not sell you this book, then don't take my word for it and buy it.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Mastering Windows 2000 Server
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Brian M. Smith, Doug Toombs, Mark Minasi
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Mastering Windows 2000 Server (4th Edition)

What can I say? Mark is the best.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of the top technology books I've ever read

This book is dynamite! I was blown away by all the code. It's a treasure trove of good SQL that you can put to use immediately. I also really liked the epigraphs at the start of each chapter. They're humorous and right on the money.
My favorite chapters are:
Performance Tuning
Undcoumented T-SQL
I have all the SQL books out there and this one is hands-down the best. If you want to *really* know Transact-SQL, this book belongs in your library.