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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must have for serious java programmer

... but not for beginner with no programmng experience at all. If you are a C++ programmer and want to transfer to the Java world, this is the book for you. This is the only java book i read so far that really makes you not just do programming but also think in java. Before I picked up this book, i was so naive and believed that Java was only a little more powerful than C++. but in fact, i am wrong. While teaching me Java, the author also shows all the programming tricks in Java to me. If i don't have the book, it will take me 1 or 2 years in Java to get that. The chapter on inner class is incredible. And the explanation on Garbage collector is very helpful too. Honestly, to master a language, you can't depend on only one book even it's as good as thinking in java. but this book should be one of your collection.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming ASP.NET, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jesse Liberty, Dan Hurwitz
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An excellent tutorial

An execellent tutorial in ASP.net for both C# and VB.net programmers. Well written, complete, and exceeds expectations.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network+ Exam Cram 2 (Exam Cram N10-002)
Publisher: Que
Authors: Mike Harwood, Ed Tittel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Depended mainly on this book - passed

Passed on first attempt with score 846 in November 2003, first ever IT certification test taken.
(I also used an OLD 2000 edition of ExamBlaster for Network+, $15 USD in a small computer store, its not worth more. It only served to minimize memorizing the one free PrepLogic exam supplied with the book.)
The 2nd in-book exam had minor errors where multiple-answer problems were not correctly denoted with check-boxes like the 1st in-book exam. Perhaps they could have done a better job on selecting solutions with Novell & 2000/NT/98 mixed networks.
I relied mainly on the two in-book exams (scored mid-80s%) and the one free PrepLogic exam (hit 100% on last attempt). I probably read the book end-to-end four times. I didn't try the additional for-purchase PrepLogic exams.
Note - see the inside back cover for a discount that you must obtain before you schedule your exam.
Profile: I've been working with PC/Apple networks as a part (not central) of my work for about 20 years. I had wireless network experience (predates 802.11) where I first learned how TCP/IP worked. I've used/managed a personal Linksys firewall for three years. And I have a BSEET degree.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Agile Software Development with SCRUM
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Ken Schwaber, Mike Beedle
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Short introduction to a great system and how to get on it

A very practical guide, with easy to follow steps, great motivating arguments, and a logical presentation style make this book really work, especially given its short length. I also really enjoyed the examples given of team transitions. SCRUM itself is a very useful methodology for certain types of projects, and this book makes it clear what those projects are and how to adopt it for them.
On the bad side, the style change is pretty obvious and jarring when they switch authors, and some of the other-author chapters are interesting, but not necessarily as useful.
Missing from the book is a description of how to get buy-in and how to convince folks using a current process to switch (i.e. how to make and express a logical decision between two processes). It also neglects a bunch of the people issues, such as how to prioritize in career development, training, or even team-building / morale events. The book claims to be about the people and energizing them through shipping products, but I really think that's only one part of making your developers happy. A very important one, mind you, but not the only one.