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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jesse James Garrett
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great starter for novice

Not to diminish the value of this great book, but, it is very basic. Establishes a good basic overall process to efficiently manage user interface development. Takes you through step by step. Essential to have this approach before looking at other aspects in more depth. Not technical, so you don't need to be a developer to understand concepts. Good value and a quick read.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself Java 2 in 21 Days (4th Edition) (Sams Teach Yourself)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Rogers Cadenhead, Laura Lemay
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Book for C++ Programmers

One would get very tired lifting all of the beginning Java books currently on the market. The combination of weight and numbers can be overwhelming to someone looking for a book to use in their initial study of the language. As more features are added and considered fundamental, it becomes harder for the author of any book based on a time frame to pick the "essential" topics and cover them in sufficient detail. Therefore, the end result is that all books based on an elapsed time should have the time considered as a guideline rather than as an absolute and that type of book should not be judged too harshly in this area. With that as a precept, the questions to resolve are threefold.
Did the authors choose the appropriate topics?Are the starting points in a location appropriate for beginners? Is the coverage sufficient so that the student will have some significant grasp of Java after they complete the book?
In this case, all the answers are most definitely affirmative. Cadenhead and Lemay begin with the basics of the fundamental data types, expressions and operators. These concepts are then used to construct simple classes, which are then put together to make other classes via inheritance and interface implementation. Classes are then grouped together to make packages, and the implementation details of import and setting the CLASSPATH environment variable are examined. The first week ends with a lesson covering how to work with threads and exceptions. Week two is devoted to creating GUI interfaces, handling events and drawing objects, with the topic of the final day being the construction and use of applets. Week three is devoted to some additional basic and advanced topics. Day 15 covers input/output, day 16 describes the serialization and inspection of objects, day 17 shows you how to communicate across a network, on day 18 you work with sound, day 19 is an explanation of how to create and use JavaBeans, the coverage of day 20 is how to move data using JDBC and XML and day 21 covers how to write Java servlets and Java Server Pages (JSPs). The coverage of each of these topics is necessarily brief, and the authors do leave a lot of things out. Nevertheless, I am convinced that enough is covered so that the students leave with a basic grasp of how each concept is used to construct programs. Are there things that I would have done differently? Absolutely! I would have moved the coverage of input/output so that it was embedded inside the other lessons. Once classes and exceptions are covered, then sending data in and out of files can be done by adding only a few lines to programs whose primary purpose is to demonstrate other things. I would have made more effort to explain how threads can be used and abused in Java programs, covering them in a separate chapter. In conclusion, this is one of the best beginning Java books on the market. No such book is ever perfect, but this one is much closer to perfect than it is to merely adequate.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture, Volume 2, Patterns for Concurrent and Networked Objects
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Douglas Schmidt, Michael Stal, Hans Rohnert, Frank Buschmann
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Network programmer - This book is a must.

If your intention is writing a network, concurrent application, the book is both a place to start and the best reference when trying to design your application. It explains each pattern, the context, the problems, the solutions, how to implement, why do we implement that way, examples, variants of the pattern, the advantages and the disadvantages of each pattern, how to combine the patterns together, and more. The book is very very clear and understandable (many books lacks this important feature!). One I have read the book I was able to start and implement a concurrent Server. It is very clear that without that book it was hard to do so! There is no doubt that this book makes the concurrent programming simpler for both, beginners and advanced.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Structured Analysis and System Specification
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Tom Demarco, P. J. Plauger
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A classic and worth the price

If I had to own one book on software design, this would be it. Everywhere I've taken it, people have wondered if some of the examples were "their company." It was introduced to me by a former boss and is easily worth 10x the price of all the courses in "design" I had. Most design is done backwards. DeMarco explains why that is.