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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs - 2nd Edition (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An Exceptional Book


SICP is a great book. If you are a patient reader and willing to work the exercises, then this is the single best book you could read about programming in general and about the Scheme dialect of Lisp in particular. I found it well-written, thorough and clear.
Read this book with an open mind. It is not "Teach Yourself Programming in 21 Days". Many people don't appreciate programming theory; they would rather get on with it and start programming. If you are one of these, then you may find yourself irritated by the theory SICP includes. However, if you want to excel as a programmer it is worth taking the time to learn the theory. Some ideas may penetrate slowly but when they do, the rewards will make up for the effort.
This book can be used as an introductory computer programming text, but I suspect that students won't get full benefit until they have a couple of years of programming experience under their belt.
This book will make you a MUCH better programmer--something that the many books that teach a programming language but ignore computing principles can not do.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams, 2nd Ed.
Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
Authors: Tom Demarco, Timothy Lister
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Hard numbers on good work environments


Summed up in one sentence, Peopleware says this: give smart people physical space, intellectual responsibility and strategic direction. DeMarco and Lister advocate private offices and windows. They advocate creating teams with aligned goals and limited non-team work. They advocate managers finding good staff and putting their fate in the hands of those staff. The manager's function, they write, is not to make people work but to make it possible for people to work.
Why is Peopleware so important to Microsoft and a handful of other successful companies? Why does it inspire such intense devotion amongst the elite group of people who think about software project management for a living? Its direct writing and its amusing anecdotes win it friends. So does its fundamental belief that people will behave decently given the right conditions. Then again, lots of books read easily, contain funny stories and exude goodwill. Peopleware's persuasiveness comes from its numbers - from its simple, cold, numerical demonstration that improving programmers' environments will make them more productive.
The numbers in Peopleware come from DeMarco and Lister's Coding War Games, a series of competitions to complete given coding and testing tasks in minimal time and with minimal defects. The Games have consistently confirmed various known facts of the software game. For instance, the best coders outperform the ten-to-one, but their pay seems only weakly linked to their performance. But DeMarco and Lister also found that the best-performing coders had larger, quieter, more private workspaces. It is for this one empirical finding that Peopleware is best known.
(As an aside, it's worth knowing that DeMarco and Lister tried to track down the research showing that open-plan offices make people more productive. It didn't exist. Cubicle makers just kept saying it, without evidence - a technique Peopleware describes as "proof by repeated assertion".)
Around their Coding Wars data, DeMarco and Lister assembled a theory: that managers should help programmers, designers, writers and other brainworkers to reach a state that psychologists call "flow" - an almost meditative condition where people can achieve important leaps towards solving complex problems. It's the state where you start work, look up, and notice that three hours have passed. But it takes time - perhaps fifteen minutes on average - to get into this state. And DeMarco and Lister that today's typical noisy, cubicled, Dilbertesque office rarely allows people 15 minutes of uninterrupted work. In other words, the world is full of places where a highly-paid and dedicated programmer or creative artist can spend a full day without ever getting any hard-core work. Put another way, the world is full of cheap opportunities for people to make their co-workers more productive, just by building their offices a bit smarter.
A decade and a half after Peopleware was written, and after the arrival of a new young breed of IT companies called Web development firms, it would be nice to think DeMarco and Lister's ideas have been widely adopted. Instead, they remain widely ignored. In an economy where smart employees can increasingly pick and choose, it will be interesting to see how much longer this ignorance can continue.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: SQL: The Complete Reference, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: James R Groff, Paul N. Weinberg
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Superficial Treatment - Not a useful reference


Covers a lot of topics but only at the most basic level. I was particularly interested in complex DML statements such as updating one section of a Table based on data contained in the latest entries. I got more information from the Transact-SQL help screens from Microsoft. I suppose this would be a useful introduction for someone who new absolutely nothing about the topic, but as a professional reference it was a waste of money.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Parallel Computer Architecture : A Hardware/Software Approach
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: David Culler, J.P. Singh, Anoop Gupta
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Up-to-date information, but not in a simplified way


this book was the recommended textbook for parallel architecture course which i took, it is a great book,since it covers the latest fields in parallel computers.But too difficult for a beginner, cause topics are explained in an advanced way, assuming a previous knowledge in parallel processing subjects.I find it more suitable for graduate or profissionals in this field rather than undergraduate students.