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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning C#
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jesse Liberty
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent basic approach to C#

This book is definetely for programmers new to c# or even for beginners. Jesse Liberty explains with real world examples the concepts. Best part is he has kept the book concise such that you can easily read everything and practically apply all the examples and finish everything in a months time. I only found Destroying Constructors and Delegates, Events chapter to be a bit more difficult but on the whole the book is a treat. I have already bought his book Programming C# third edition also for adavanced programming. Best part I forgot to say is that Jesse personally answers to all your queries which is really handful. I sincerely reccommend this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional Software Development: Shorter Schedules, Higher Quality Products, More Successful Projects, Enhanced Careers
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Steve McConnell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Role of PEOPLE in software development

This book explains what people, companies, and the software industry need to do to become more professional. The "Cargo Cult Software Engineering" essay was one of the best I've read -- great distinction between competence vs. work style. I enjoyed the chapter on personal attributes of programmers -- it helped to explain some of the programmers I've had trouble getting along with. The chapter about Construx's professional development program was useful too, and I'm going to try to adapt parts of that to use in my own company.
McConnell lays out what can be done at the individual level to become more professional, both now and in the future when educational programs become more readily available. The chapter on "quantifying personnel factors" was great -- McConnell clearly understands that software is produced by PEOPLE, and people have to come first.
There is also lots to do at the organizational level, most of which can be done right now. I agree with his argument that good people will naturally want to use good practices, and so the best organizations will want both good people and good practices. How to fully support people working at a truly professional level is the key question.
Overall, if you want to understand why sometimes software projects work and sometimes they fail, and if you want to understand what to do to make them succeed every time, this is a great book. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: OCA/OCP: Introduction to Oracle9i SQL Study Guide
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Chip Dawes, Biju Thomas
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good for study AND reference

I bought about a dozen certification books before obtaining the MCSE DBA title and had never bothered to write a comment. But the authors of this book have done such a good job that I feel compelled to share my opinion with all of you. It's by far the best study guide I've used. It covers every aspects of the subject. The questions in the book are decent and well constructed. I'm new to Oracle but passed the test easily after reading through the book. Eqally great about this book is the fact that it can serve as a great reference book (Especially liked the two chapters covering functions). Good value for your money.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Authors: Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins, J.D. Wiker, Steve Sansweet
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
It just doesn't fit

As a gamer who purchased the original edition of this book not two years ago, I was somewhat annoyed at the re-release of the Star Wars roleplaying game. I found it somewhat unfair to require the established players to purchase what seemed to amount to a rules tweak and episode II reference.
That being said, I was somewhat pleased with the results of the rules tweaks. The character classes now have more of a Star Wars feel... something that was sorely missing from the initial print. The addition of the Tech Specialist class rounds out the character classes a bit more thoroughly, and the conversion of Jedi Master to a prestige class made a lot of sense. On the down side, the book reprints material found in supplemental books.. making me wonder if the purchase of supplements is, in fact, necessary.
As far as the episode II updates.. I must say that I was disappointed. While there -are- entries on the newer characters and there are some vehicles covers, the book lacks meat. WotC would have been better off printing an Episode II sourcebook.
All in all? It's worth purchasing, if you can get it for less than list. Otherwise... wait for the inevitable episode III revision.