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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Andrew Hunt, David Thomas
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Help Toward More Professionalism and Job Satisfaction

This book is an excellent distillation of practical experience and advice covering all phases of software development. While it's written mainly for the software developer, project managers will get valuable insight from the book on effective software development practice. The strength of this book is that it draws heavily from the authors' experience. Rather that promote a methodology, it promotes attitudes, values, tools and proven practices that will help anyone become a better software developer and make the job of software development more creative and stimulating. It's especially good for new software developers as it contains many lessons that experienced developers only learn the hard way. The book is well organized in easily digestible segments, with a very good cross reference system that makes it handy for repeated use. The appendix presents many valuable resources that professional programmers will want to explore.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Guide to Networking Essentials, Fourth Edition
Publisher: Course Technology
Authors: Greg Tomsho, Ed Tittel, Greg Johnson
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good Choice

As an experienced instructor, I caution use of this book by colleges who are utilizing instructors not completely familiar with the material.
There are numerous question and answer sets that are incorrect, and these incorrect answers may be passed on to the students. There are several technical descriptions which are inaccurate as well.
At this point in the game, many of the third party "Microsoft Approved Study Guides" contain technically incorrect material. Of all those I have used and reviewed however, the Course Technology series is the best currently available.
Steve Hailey MCP+I, MCSE, MCT

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: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Book Re-Use

I was just reviewing Bruce Eckel's "Thinking in Java" which is the complete opposite of this book, but I think they make a good pair of books to buy. This book was very easy to read, good examples, well written. However, SO MUCH was not covered. Even basic things! (If I'm not mistaken, even things such as Collections were not covered! As far as I can remember..) Every time I needed to master quickly a subject, I read the appropriate chapter from this book, and if I needed more information, I'd just glance at "Thinking in Java" which contains much, much more information. The problem exists in the subjects which aren't covered... But as long as you know the book's limitations, it's a good one, especially if you get another, more thorough, Java teaching book.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Protocols (TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book finally answered all of the questions I had

I've been trying to unearth the details of exactly what TCP/IP is and is not for quite some time - although I've been using it both as a consumer and as a programmer for years, all of the pieces never quite *clicked* until I found this book. I knew, for example, that my PC somehow obtained an IP address using something called "DHCP" and that my browser somehow translated "www.amazon.com" into an IP address using something called "DNS" - I knew that there was a thing called "UDP" that was parallel to "TCP", but I didn't know how they were related... in short, I knew the how, but not the why. This book covers, in minute detail, exactly what's going on - it stops short of describing how many electrons flow in and out of your ethernet card during a typical TCP/IP session, but that's about the last level of detail you could hope for. And, amazingly enough - it's a good read! I actually found myself staying up late just to "finish this chapter", because the author's writing style is so engaging.