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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: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
It succeeds as a "vision" book


It is clear the author cares very deeply about his profession. He is searching for a way to increase software development professionalism. I did not view this book as a how to cook book. I viewed it as a vision book that offers suggestions on what needs to happen for future software development. Viewed in that light the book succeeds well. Unfortunately some of his analogies to other professions show lack of understanding for those professions, but otherwise the book is good food for thought.

If you are looking for a more concrete books on how to develop software now, he has a good reading list in his book Code Complete, second edition chapter 35. Also check his web site: http://www.construx.com/professionaldev/



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself Macromedia Flash MX 2004 in 24 Hours
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Phillip Kerman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Introduction to Flash MX


I just finished reading this book and I definitely recommend it. This book gives you an intro to using Flash MX. If you don't have a lot of time (or patience) to read one of the thick books, this one will do the job to get you up and running in Flash MX.
In the next edition (which is apparently coming up), I hope the author goes into a bit more detail on components. I was hoping that he would have the reader create an application utilizing ALL of the installed components (Microsoft calls them controls). But only a couple of the components are covered. I know this is an intro book, but if you're 40% there, why not go all the way?
One thing about the book that NEEDS to be fixed is errors. It looks like some of the errors are simply text carried over from the previous edition of the book where Flash 5 is the topic, but doesn't apply to Flash MX. Luckily, most of the errors are self-evident.
Now that I finished this book and being interested in Flash MX DEVELOPMENT rather than DESIGN, I have "Flash MX ActionScript Bible" (thick book) waiting to read next which I'm pretty excited about. If you want to focus on Flash MX development, the path is clear after reading this book: you need to buy an ActionScript book. If you're interested in DESIGN however, you have to determine if this book is all you need or if you need to buy another (advanced) Flash MX book (not ActionScript).
Take one step at a time though and buy this book first and worry about further reading later. At least when you finish this book, you will have a good grounding in Flash MX so when you're ready for the advanced Flash MX book(s), you will be able to make an informed decision on which book is best for you. Meanwhile, browse in the bookstores for your next book while reading this one and buy at Amazon.com (of course) when ready...



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Building Cocoa Applications : A Step by Step Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Simson Garfinkel, Michael K. Mahoney
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fabulous book for the right person


I adore this book: it does exactly what I wanted it to do, and it does so compellingly - I've worked straight through the whole thing. The example programs are a great step by step introduction to integrating necessary UI functionality into a program. The exercises are challenging, requiring thought, a willingness to rummage through class definitions, and experimentation.
But make sure that what I wanted it to do is what you want it to do. I have a fair amount of experience as a programmer in a lot of different languages, but no experience coding in a desktop windowing environment. This book has rapidly brought me to a place where I feel confident that I will be able to build my own Cocoa applications, and have a real understanding of the underlying architecture.
Don't buy this book if you aren't already very comfortable with at least one programming language. If that language isn't ANSI C, plan on working a little harder to grok some of the more abstruse C-ness. Don't expect a course on obect-oriented progamming. Don't expect lessons in how to use a debugger. Don't expect spoon feeding - as it claims on the back cover, it's a book for serious developers.
I'm glad I wasn't put off by the reviews complaining of errors. I haven't found anything harsher than a minor distraction. What I have found is that I would sometimes reach the point in the discussion of a new concept where I had to stop and ask, "But why did they do it *that* way?" After putting effort into arriving at my own conclusion, I would invariably find that in the next paragraph my question was answered.
Definitely not "for Dummies," but definitely worth the effort.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie, Dennis M. Ritchie
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The only C language textbook/reference you'll ever need!


I've read some C language text books, and they all fell short in some (or even many) way.
This book is short, to the point, exact and clear.
Many useful examples, with motivating reasons for those examples.
I found this book useful not only to beginners in C (as a textbook) but also as a reference book for experienced programmers, and a good reference for people teaching the C programming language.
In many C courses they give "A book on C" and this book as the course textbooks - I say forget about the ABC book - and stick to this one - you won't regret it.