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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
Software Development Lifecycle good practices

This book is a guide to parts of the software development lifecycle that doesn't refer to any specific programming language. It focuses on the requirements gathering phase, the design phase, and the testing phase of software development. The advice is practical and some of the practices they suggest overlap with Extreme Programming (XP) practices, such as coding for the easiest case and building up from there. The suggestions are practical, the writing is concise, and there are numerous examples. I especially like the way each section has a list of related sections at the end. As an example, the section on Tracer Bullets lists Good-Enough Software, Prototypes and Post-It Notes, The Specification Trap and Great Expectations. This way it is easy to skip around and read what you are interested in. A minor complaint is that the author refers to another book for more information at one point. This is useless unless you have the book or feel like spending more money. Overlooking that, this is precisely the type of book I was looking for to improve my effectiveness as a software engineer.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Visual Basic .NET Database Programming
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Evangelos Petroutsos, Asli Bilgin
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Weak on MS Access and Window Form applications

This book barley discusses MS Access Databases and is all about SQL/XML. The focus is also more toward internet this and internet that and the writer forgets that some people don't want to write database programs for windows (forms on your own computer).
I hate to be harsh but this book does not cover MS Access or Windows side programming enough to fill a pocket book.
Don't waste your money or time unless you are a SQL/XML looking for internet front end apps.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Inside Com (Microsoft Programming Series)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Dale Rogerson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good start for Com developes

This great book gave me a very deep and broad approach to COM development using VC++ 5.0 I can recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the COM/ActiveX concept from the foundations.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CIO Wisdom: Best Practices from Silicon Valley
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Dean Lane, With Members of the CIO Community of Practice, Inc. and Change Technology Solutions, Silicon Valley CIO Round Table
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best compilation of what it takes to be a great CIO

The book is a wealth of advice not only valuable to the CIO position but to the executive team and the Board of Directors as well. Fox's chapter on communications is the most enlightened tour of what it takes to build a great IT organization that is in alignment with the internal and external parts of the enterprise.The advice parallels Harvard Professor Kanter's admonition that "communication is the key". Businesses must make the free flow of information and knowledge a priority. If lines of communication are poor, employees at the lower levels feel cut off from the decision-makers at the top. Excellent read!