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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Java, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Why do people like book?

As soon as I started reading Head First Java, I knew I would like it. The format held my interest, and the exercises were fun to do. I didn't skip the exercises like I usually do with other books, where they sometimes seem too easy. And I find that I remember the concepts I learned. I am fairly new to Java, and before I read this book, I found some of the concepts confusing, including OO concepts. I now have a much better understanding of the Java language and OO.
In the past, I've learned from the traditional type of text book, but the explanations in Head First Java seemed much easier to understand and remember, and the humor and graphics made it fun. It has the usual errors and typos, but they didn't distract from my learning experience. Now I better understand what I read in my Java reference books. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn or better understand Java, as long as you don't mind having fun while you learn. I am very much looking forward to seeing other books in this series!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Writing Effective Use Cases
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Alistair Cockburn
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Understanding the principles behind writing use cases

I had been looking at the value of writing use cases for some time, but hadn't done so because I couldn't visualize clearly how they added value or what was the best format, text or symbols. "Writing Effective Use Cases" answered my specific questions, which is why I'm adding a 26th review to the 25 excellent previous ones.
* How do I apply use cases to non-business software?"Writing Effective Use Cases" includes 40 completed use cases related to a range of activities from Register Arrival of a Box to Apply a (System) Lock. That gave me a better feel for how use cases work than the usual Bank Customer Withdraws Cash or Online Customer Makes Puchase. As far as system software is concerned, Cockburn says:
"Occasionally I hear someone complain that it is hard to describe the requirements for a tape merge operation or a compiler with use cases. I wholeheartedly agree. Those are best described using algebraic or tabular forms."
* Can I go straight from use cases to design?One of the misconceptions I had was that you could design directly from use cases. Cockburn goes to some trouble to explain that there is no one-to-one mapping between use cases and code, although use cases do make an excellent basis for test cases.
"The design doesn't cluster by use case. Blindly following the use case structure leads to functional decomposition designs (this is really of concern to object-oriented and component design teams.)"
* How do use cases relate to requirements?The most valuable concept I obtained from "Writing Effective Use Cases" was that the primary value of use cases is to tease out the complete requirements, including how failures should be handled, from the potential customers of the system.
"[The use case] becomes a communication device between the different stakeholders on the project".
Recommended by the author:Mastering the Requirements Process by Suzanne and James Robertson

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional SQL Server 2000 DTS (Data Transformation Services) (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Mark Chaffin, Brian Knight, Todd Robinson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very Good

I have been a DBA/Developer for many years, and finding any text on DTs was a challenge. This book is awesome, and really put together very well with excellent examples. I would recommend this book for anyone looking to increase his or her understanding of DTs. I can't wait until the authors come out with a more advanced version working with Classes and VB. Killer book!!!!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try
Publisher: Velociteach Press
Authors: Andy Crowe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Best Thing I Ever Purchased

I am a student working towards a master's degree in Project Management and while it's good to have a degree. You need to pass the PMP to earn the top dollars. Passing the PMP tells corporate America that you know your stuff. While I have not taken the test, I feel I am better prepared for it because of this book. This book will also help you in everyday life as a Project Manager. I learned several new techniques that helped me on several projects. So if you are serious about being a Project Manager, invest some of your money and time into this book.