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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams, 2nd Ed.
Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
Authors: Tom Demarco, Timothy Lister
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Classic text for middle managers

If you are moving into new office space and want to justify giving everyone an office, this is the book for you. The classic answer is "cubicals are cheaper." Peopleware refutes this bad idea with hard data you can use. Studies at reputable companies, white papers and cost analysis. Things even an accountant will understand. Its a book for "moles" in the corporate organization. People who are trying to humanize the workplace and yet still get something done.
Have a new manager? Need to give them some help in managing you? Give them this book. It will make your life a lot easier. The other target audience is the H.R. Dept. Unfortunately they usually don't know about it, nor can they affect the changes necessary to make things better. However if they are on the same band wagon it will make the fight for decent work space easier.
Its a classic along with "The Mythical Man Month", and the now out of print "The 59 Second employee." So if you are up late wondering how your projects got so late, why your staff is complaining/leaving, read this book and get a clue.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alan Cooper
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Yes, the Inmates are running the Asylum

Yes,The Inmates are Running the Asylum by Allan Cooper Reviewed by Frank W.Cornell - Pepperdine University
This book is written for those who love the changes that the new technologies provide, but just can not tolerate the way products are easily usable. In his discussion of cognitive friction, he indicates that the consumers are polarized into one of two groups. Either we are an apologist or a survivor. We either "adopt cognitive friction as a lifestyle, or go underground and accept it as a necessary evil." Much of his book discusses the ill conceived fact that programers are put to work before a design is completed. When this path is followed and errors are found later on, the program must be altered which in turn upsets the entire development process. Cooper's example of a carpenter cutting boards by eye until he finally gets one that fits the gap in the wall. Microsoft spends over $800 million dollars annually on technical support which is about 5% of their net revenues on technical support - Why? In another example used by Cooper, he divides the human race into two categories, by using this analogy. Imagine boarding an airplane; if one turns left they head for the cockpit giving the desire to control and understand how technology works. Then the ones that turn right strongly desire to simply their thinking and sit back and enjoy the success of the flight. What Cooper is trying to develop and make work he calls "Goal-Directed Design" or in other words to develop a precise description of our user and what he wishes to accomplish. If these simple and basic elements are followed one will not end up with an unusable product from a cognitive and performance standpoint. I highly recommend this book to those who are frustrated with today's technology. This is not a highly technical book, but the reader will find it easy to read and very enjoyable.2/14/00

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Eric Evans
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Perfect content - but too long for many readers

In Domain-Driven Design, Evans describes a set of patterns that capture exactly what both MDA and AOP attempts to be a solution to. Evans approach is elegant, yet realistic. Unlike other model-focused approaches, he has a good focus on lessons learned from agile software development like extreme programming, and explains how domain modeling fits in with testing-driven development, iterative and incremental development, and refactoring.

I have one big gripe with this book, however. It is too long. Everything in the book is useful to me, but I would like to see more people read the parts of the book that are relevant to them. If the book had a thinner companion version or a reading guide for people who were in a hurry in the introduction it would be perfect. As it is, I cannot recommend it to "coders" or business analysts, only to software architects and modelers.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Douglas R. Hofstadter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Tortiose Said to Achilles

If you're stranded upon a deserted (not desert: unless of course one can find an island in the desert), you better hope this book is the one with you.
This is the Russian Dolls of books. Hofstadter pulled a great trick over readers, which, like the trick itself, is a trick of infinite regress.
Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski [got] their blockbuster movie idea, "The Matrix" from this book.