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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Developing Windows-Based Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual C# .NET
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation, Microsoft Corporation
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A book specifically for covering test objectives, no more

This is a very average book that perhaps covers all objectives of the test, but it does no more. The book falls really short in terms of real world examples. The snippets in the book are all one-liners, out of context and leave more questions than answers. A specific example (and the most annoying one) of a section with such one-liner snippets is the one related to the use of Security classes in the .NET framework. Even the labs are all trivial examples which you'll never use in real life.
The book also doesn't organize the material too well. The topics and terminology that would be covered in later chapters are freely used in earlier chapters.
You can probably pass the test using this book, but if you don't already know VB.NET and ADO.NET, it would take an inordinate amount of effort to understand the stuff using this book. I would certainly recommend reading some other book or articles on the web to supplement the material given in this book (or simply to make more sense of material given in this book).
On the positive side, this book does cover all topics on the test, even if badly. The test on the companion CD, however, is nothing like the actual test. All in all, this book lays out the raw facts, but doesn't put them all together to make a cohesive, understandable picture of software development using the .NET platform.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Rod Johnson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good addition to your library

I like his writing style and enjoyed his presentation. The depth covers the basics, but I found myself going to some of my other titles for reference. These included EJB Design by Marinescu; J2EE Design Patterns Applied by Juric; and J2EE, The Complete Reference by Keogh. I recommend Johnson's book as your next addition to your library.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PeopleSoft HRMS Reporting (Prentice Hall Ptr Enterprise Resource Planning (Erp) Series)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Adam T. Bromwich
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A treasure for technical and functional users

This book is a treasure for anyone who needs to get quickly up-to-speed on the PeopleSoft HRMS data architecture and the most common tables against which queries and reports are executed. This alone would make the book invaluable because of the confusing PeopleSoft documentation and the thousands of tables. However, the author goes well beyond by breaking down the most important tables, grouped by function, into attributes and explaining how to create highly useful business reports from them.
In addition to the thorough coverage of the data architecture, the book also provides an excellent compendium of information and tips for using SQR to its fullest potential. Although my main interest is in the tables, I considered material on SQR to be a bonus and learned a great deal from this section.
If you are working with PeopleSoft on either the technical or functional side this book will probably be your most used reference. The author deserves the highest accolades for clear writing, technical knowledge and the ability to distill the essentials into one of the best references and tutorials I've read in a long time.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Stored Procedures, XML, and HTML (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not for teaching

I showed this to my students and it scared the s**t out of them. An extremely counter-productive experience!