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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Code Complete
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve McConnell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent practicle book

Though it's been over 6 years since I read this book, I still rate it as the most effective book I've ever read to improve my coding skills. This is truly a classic that every programmer or programmer wanna-be should read.
Not only is the content excellent, but the writing makes it a thoroughly enjoyable book to read. You'll see errors you (or the coder next to you) have made highlighted throughout the book. Another coder and myself read the book at about the same time, and we literally used it as our Coders Bible for the next 2 years. We had countless arguments (more intense than most religious doctrinal debates) on the best way to construct our code. This book was the accepted final authority for us.
I highly recommend this book to every junior programmer I come in contact with (or hire). It will help them avoid many of the errors most of us have learned the hard way.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Biz Stone
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
For beginners only

This book is very simplistic and there is not a whole lot of information that you can't find by surfing the web and visting blogger.com. Very basic stuff. If you are totally new and wondering what blogging is and how to get started; the book is for you. However, if you have web development experience and a do-it-yourself mentality, look elsewhere. I was expecting some information about programming and setting up your own blog. This book is basically a how-to review of existing blogging services that one must subscribe to. It seems to contradict the "Genius" description in the title. If you have your own website and you want to do it yourself visit: http://www.....org/....htm. It's all free. I am not affiliated in any way with the recommended site, BTW.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ACT! 2005 For Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Karen S. Fredricks
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
For the Beginner, For Someone Upgrading

You would think that maintaining a list of your customers would be easy. You keep a stack of calling cards, you write down a few special phone numbers in a small address books. But you don't have much space to write down that Alison's little boy is named Kevin, that he turned five on the 23th of last month, or that Alison told you to call her back on the 5th of next month for a big order. And sending out an e-mail to those of your customers who will be interested to know that your Model 14 just came out in a new color is a bit of a chore.

Act automated this process by essentially building a nifty contact oriented front end to a database. It is so nifty that more than 4 million people use it. It is so nifty that these 4 million people have continued to make suggestions on how to improve it and that each new version contains more features that just might be what you need.

As with all the For Dummies books, this is a good introductory book. It gets the absolute beginner started using the system. It describes all the features in the package (and gives you some extra tips on using them) so that you can see how to do that new task that you just thought up.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself ABAP/4 in 21 Days
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Ken Greenwood
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent resource for beginners!

What really annoyed me was that the book does not state that you need to be on a R/3 system to actually do any ABAP/4 coding exercises, although you can run the screen cams from the CD. However, any technical person will tell you nothing beats "hands-on" practice. Having said that, the book is a good starting point.