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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Robert C. Martin
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Industrial strength book

Many OO/Patterns books are written as an introduction to the concepts and gloss over the nuances of building software in the real world. This book takes on the nitty gritty of what most developers face day to day. While it does include the gratuitous "student registration" example, this book actually delves into issues such as integrating legacy code. It also actually implements bad design choices before moving on to better solutions, and even these solutions are described in terms of trade-offs between competing forces. Also, by discussing specific Design Patterns in more depth than the cannonical format, I had a few "a-ha" moments when patterns I never quite understood emerged. I would/should have given this book 5 stars, but I had problems with the layout (oversized pages/no margins), the inconsitencies of diagrams (clouds and UML), and the disjoint feeling that the book was a collection of separately written articles, although the author does tie them nicely together. All in all, this is a must have.


Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Bible with CD-ROM
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Paul Nielsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Developer Depth

SQL Server 2000 Bible is a great book for a developer. I've been a SQL Server developer since 6.5 and, while I can't speak to the admin side this, this is the book that has the level of depth and detail to keep me interested - over 10,000 lines of code, not filled with foolish filler screen shots, and great developer ideas that other books don't even touch.

There's another review that says this book doesn't have enough depth, and in another review, the same reviewer praises The Guru's Guide to T-SQL for it's depth. But, the sample code listed in the Guru's Guide review IS IN SQL Server 2000 Bible on p.384. The Guru's Guide is a good book, but SQL Server 2000 Bible has T-SQL development details and ideas not mentioned in any other SQL book that I've found. The book has 60+ pages on joins and subqueries with techniques and ideas I've never heard of. The advenced T-SQL chapter alone is worth the price of the book. If you're a SQL Server developer, you need this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A+ Certification for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ron Gilster
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Easy to read, but lacking content!

This book was a good overall review, but I felt it did not prepare me for the actual test. There were many areas on the A+ test that this book did not cover. I passed the test on my first try, with an 80% on the Win/Dos and an 85% on the Core module, but my main comprehension came from another source. The areas this bood did cover were a great review, but if you need to understand the whole picture, I recommend you buy another study guide.
I feel this book is a good investment, but only if you are planning on studying out of another study guide as well. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Linux Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Richard Stones, Neil Matthew, Alan Cox
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

This book is excellent for those who have a basic understanding on ANSI C, as well as the Unix/Linux operating system, and wish to begin programming for the platform. It is well written and touches on a wide variety of subjects such as sockets, X programming, CGI, shell scripting, etc. An excellent investment!