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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: Joe Celko
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not sure of when/where this book would prove useful...


My usual approach to CS books is to read them from cover to cover. I don't try the examples, don't run the code, don't do the exercises.
What I try to do is getting a "coarse memory map" of what the book teaches, so when I encounter a problem in my line of work I can say "well, I remember something about it in ZZZ" or "YYY had a chapter on this". Obviously I tend to favour cookbooks on purely abstract theory. When I bought Joe Celko's book I hoped to get just this: an SQL cookbook with easily appliable tips and techniques to a vast range of recurring SQL problems.
In my opinion, the book tries to cover too much, and ends up unfocused. There are a lot of examples, but they look a little too vague to me (and as others noticed, they seem to be plagued with typoes). Often the method works for the toys tables used to introduce the problem, but I'm left wondering what would happen if the data were a little more complex.
There are chapters devoted to subtle problems in SQL standards, numerical precision, query optimizations, but the general message seems to always boil down to "well, different vendors do things differently, so check out your product docs".
The book hints to powerful SQL techniques to solve some recurring problems: it devotes two chapters to modeling trees and graphs in RDBs, but again, the discussion is not really complete, and even if it proves that trees can be represented and manipulated in standard SQL (without STARTS WITH or other proprietary dialects) a lot of important things are missing, like what to do if you need to represent different trees in the same table, instead of a single tree. They also suffer from the "toy example syndrome" I explained before.
The book devotes some pages to design constraints and strategies, but does not discuss how to present object oriented classes in standard RDB. Maybe it's just me, but I think this should have been included, considering the widespread use of OO or quasi-OO languages in the industry.
To sum it up, the book demonstrates that the author has a very good knowledge of standards, is intimate with at least a dozen different commercial RDBS, and has a tendency to write intricate SQL queries to show that "it can be done in SQL, no needs to resort to procedural language". This is fine for his magazine columns, but I wonder if and when I will ever consult the book to solve a real-world problem in my job.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Build Your Own ASP.NET Website Using C# & VB.NET
Publisher: SitePoint
Authors: Zak Ruvalcaba
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Absolute Beginners Only :)


If you are professional ASP veteran you might not find this book 100% page-to-page useful, but still fun to read, explore and besides everything this book is a really good start from the bottom guide



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: IT Project Management : On Track from Start to Finish, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Joseph Phillips
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Good place to start, HORRIBLE test preperation aid!


I felt like I was taking the wrong test! I definitely used the wrong book to prep for the test. The CompTIA test uses almost an entirely different set of terms.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: CCNA for Dummies, Second Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ron Gilster
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great, funny and easy to read.


By far the most helpful resource in getting my CCNA. This book covers everything on the CCNA, a little more condensed than Wendell's book, (by the Cisco Press) but I believe Wendell's book hit every imaginable topic while Mr. Glister's hit only the relevent topics for the test.For [the priceyou will not make a mistake using this as a resource.