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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: SQL/400 Developer's Guide
Publisher: 29th Street Press
Authors: Paul Conte, Mike Cravitz
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Impressive technical depth

I'm an AS/400 programmer with over ten years experience with RPG, DDS, and DB2/400. I've been working with SQL/400 for a little over a year. I wish I'd had this book when I started learning SQL! It has very thorough introductions to all the essential DDL and DML statements. Although I'm somewhat beyond the "basics" level now, I've also found lots of help with more advanced issues.
The explanation of transaction isolation levels and record locking is better than I've found anywhere. Also, the complex rules for "system" vs. "SQL" naming are finally comprehensible. The authors seem to know SQL/400 very well, judging from the numerous "nitty-gritty" technical fine points that are provided in footnotes.
This is really the kind of book that an AS/400 developer needs to become a good SQL programmer, too.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Luke Hohmann
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The most useful tool for the current business paradigm

As a self-proclaimed "agilist," I have been in the habit of thinking more and more about ways that we can ensure that the software systems we build can richly and extensibly solve the business problems our customers need them to solve. And Agile processes like XP are certainly a big step in that direction. That's part of what attracted many of us to agility in the first place.
In this excellent and timely book, Hohmann takes that desire for customer responsiveness a quantum step further, asking that every aspect of a software product (internal or external), from business model to architecture, be aligned with business purpose and business reality.
To put it another way, he widens the software "project team" to include everybody and anybody who must dream up, define, design, market, sell, build, test, maintain, extend, support, and ultimately retire a system. It helps to systematize the hard and institutionally complex work of taking all of that input into account throughout the lifecycle.
So the book talks about taking into account the customer-related input from all of the above roles. But it also asks us to keep the system responsive to all of the knowledge workers in those roles, and their continuing human needs. As hard as it is to do, it is not enough that a system be easy to extend for its programmers. It's not even enough that it provides the optimal feature set, on-time within budget. There is more hard work for it to do. Some systems are a hell of a lot easier to support than others, or easier to market and sell than others. And on and on.
Hohmann shows us how the systems we build will inevitably end up responding to a wide range of needs and roles one way or another, and asks us to anticipate them all, embrace them all, and respond to them up-front, purposefully and systematically. I really, really like that. I can put these insights to use immediately.
I think of the Agile practice revolution as an essentially humanizing revolution in software development, but at a fairly low institutional level. Agile practices largely help us only with the building of the system. And to the extent that Agile methods humanize that building process, they are great.
But I think Hohmann's book gives us the start of a higher-tier, larger view of a humanizing movement, not just in building software systems, but in the entire lifecycle, the entire arc from conception to death. A humanized view of the lifecycle is a fabulous thing, to my mind. I think it really could change the software world permanently. We could all end up (gasp) loving our jobs.
This is an important book, full of Aha! insights. If you have responsibility in any of the above roles I mention, I think you need to read it.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Programming Windows, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Charles Petzold
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

This book is simply the best book I've ever picked up on the Windows 32-bit API.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Data Mining: Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques with Java Implementations
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: Ian H. Witten, Eibe Frank
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Try to cover many, but not depth enough.

I have read machine learning writed by Tom M. Mitchell and also I have read Data Mining Concepts and Techniques writed by J. Han and M. Kamber. Both text books is very useful for someone who want to get concept of a modern data analysis approaches. But, however, to understant about that clearly, you should read this book also because the example and author's form writing is so good and nice, very easy to understant.