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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Unified Software Development Process
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ivar Jacobson, Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The primary book for understanding SW development of today.

Everyone today involved in software development ought to be aware of the contents of this book. The book is an overview of the key concepts, the core workflows and the overall management and control of software development. It's a comprehensive text-book, but it's not (and should not be) a detailed procedure manual for a software development process. In other words, it's a "conceptual and analysis model" of the software development business. But remember, it's not (and should not be) an applied design and implementation of a specific software development business.
The three major parts of the Unified Process book are well balanced. The first part describes the key concepts: use-case driven, architecture-centric, and iterative and incremental. The second part goes deeper into the core workflows: requirements, analysis, design, implementation and test. Thus, this part is focusing on work to be done to produce a certain type of artifact. The third part describes how to manage and control this work in time space. This is based on the good principles for controlled iterative development and it is the most valuable part of the book.
Like all good "conceptual and analysis models" this book assembles and unifies experience and best practices of the domain in focus; in this case software development. The result is a common "language" for the domain and a common approach of solving problems in the domain. Examples are included and provides a good complement to the more general text. Every chapter also contains a valuable list of references to other books and papers. For the ones that practice software development, the referenced book "The Unified Modeling Language User Guide" is a mandatory complement. If you are involved in business modeling, the referenced book "The Object Advantage - Business Process Reengineering with Object Technology" is a must. For the ones dealing with development of application families/suites, the referenced book "Software Reuse: Architecture, Process and Organization for Business Success" provides complementory guidance.
In the next iteration of unifying software development processes and the next release of this book, I not only want to see references to the books about Business Processes and Software Reuse, but some elaboration and description of "the big picture". The interesting thing is that fundaments and the overall process pattern described in Unified Process (Objectory--RUP) can be applied on different "system" levels recursively. The same pattern can be used to reach different development targets, but depending on the type of target (a business, a system family, a component system, an application system, a subsystem, etc.), the development workflows, workers and artifacts need specialization. That's known by the authors, but it's cluttered and not distinctly described in the book. (The two referenced books would also benefit from being updated to harmonize with the corresponding versions of UML and Unified Process.)
I would also like to comment on three other issues that could have been more elaborated: usability engineering to produce "partial business models", modeling of large systems as recursively superordinate/subordinate systems, and code generation.
Business modeleing is not directly described, but is discussed in the chapter about Requirements Capture. It would have been interesting to address the possibility to only develop a partial business model, which doesn't fully model the whole business and its use cases, but directly identifies some workers (and maybe some business actors) and describe their "profile and tasks". This is what usually is done when usability engineering is applied. Maybe it's to hard to model and optionally change the whole business, but individual tasks might benefit from better information system support. That could sometimes be good enough. In order to find the (system) use cases it's better to apply usability engineering techniques, like user profiling and task analysis, then not doing any model at all of the business workers/actors.
In order to handle complexities of large systems you need techniques to recursively model a number of system levels. This is just very briefly described in the book. An extract from the Software Reuse book about modeling of superordinate and subordinate systems wouldn't do any harm in the next release of the Unified Process book.
Code generation is something that must be taken into consideration by software architects. This should have been discussed in the chapters addressing architecture, design and tools.
To summarize, the Unified Process book is the primary book for understanding software development of today. I hope it will be a "living book" that is periodically updated to reflect the best practices of software development at each point of time in the future.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition (All-in-One)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Shon Harris, Shon Harris
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Truly the Best!

This is certainly the best CISSP study guide available, but it seems to be much, much more.
The amount of information in this text book is exactly what the security field needs. I am amazed at the depth that this author goes into and can really get the concepts across in an understandable manner. Security can be a complex animal and this book has made me understand things I didn't know that I didn't know!
I will use this book even after the exam I am sure.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Real-Time Rendering (2nd Edition)
Publisher: AK Peters, Ltd.
Authors: Tomas Akenine-Moller, Eric Haines
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great introductory book!

This is actually a good book, though it does not provide a "step by step" introduction, but more of a coarse overview of various topics. There's a small revision of mathematical basics, but I recommend you buy a complimentary book like Roger's "Mathematical Elements for Computer Graphics" to fill the gap if you're not mathematically liberate.Actually one of the key features is the large bibliography with references to tons of books, papers and websites.I recommend this book to everyone new to the topic, as it really helps to get a foot in the door and provides a great overview of various 3D-related topics, plus many links to further resources. Though it lacks the necessary details to directly turn everything into code, it shows you which techniques are available and where to learn about them.Definetely recommended!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle PL/SQL Developer's Workbook
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Steven Feuerstein
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The prefect second PL/SQL book

Only a few book can jump start you to another level, and this is one of them. Great to learn and work for newbie and even experienced pl/sql developers.