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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for J2EE Study Guide (Exam 310-051)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Paul Allen, Joseph Bambara
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
real good start towards SCEA certification

This is one of those books that looks good on the store shelf. It appears to cover all of the certification objectives. It has a CD that promises mock exams. Unfortunately the book is very poorly written. It doesn't seem as though the authors really understand what they are talking about, and instead are cobbling together material from other sources: Starting with the introductory material, the descriptions of the concepts of architecture and design are terrible muddled. Also, I have never read such poor descriptions of the GoF design patterns. The EJB material is scattered and poorly organized. Finally a bunch of mostly useless Java code is thrown in, presumably to make the book seem more authoritative. Througout, this book seems to repeat the same material over and over again. The back of the book promises an "exam watch - warnings based on thorough post-exam research identifying the most troublesome exam topics." This sounds useful, but appears nowhere in the book as far as I can tell.
I would suggest simply buying the Sun press study guide by Mark Cade and Simon Roberts. It is not "complete" but the material is very well written, and you can go on the Web to find other people's study notes and mock exams to complement your review of the material.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XML Bible (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Elliotte Rusty Harold
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent intro to XML, XSL

The XML BIBLE is easy to read, provides a great introduction to XML, XSL, but with deep detail and does so without bogging the reader down in terse theory and techno-babble.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Handbook of Applied Cryptography
Publisher: CRC Press
Authors: Alfred J. Menezes, Paul C. Van Oorschot, Scott A. Vanstone
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excelent Technical Reference

This book Provides an excellent reference for cryptogtaphers and cryptography students.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Planning Extreme Programming
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Kent Beck, Martin Fowler
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
...plans are useless, planning is indispensable

From the Preface: "...planning is so valuable and important, that it deserves to go on a little every day, as long as development lasts. "
For those of us who have read Kent Beck's Extreme Programming Explained, you realize that this means planning is as important as the other things that Xp does every day: analysis, design, testing, implementation, deployment, and maintenance. Martin Fowler and Kent Beck show us how Xp helps us with planning every day, and how the individual practices of Xp let us know where we actually are.
This book should be considered required reading for any manager with, or thinking of starting, an Xp project.