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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Useful 2nd Java resource

I knew C and C++ so I bought this book. No beginner could ever understand the first chapters. He starts with the most complicated C++ concepts and then moves to the code. You don't see a program until the 5th chapter. No creativity (all in black and white, NO color). The only good chapter is the chapter on buttons,text boxes, etc. If I didn't already know C++ I would have been completely clueless. Do not try to use as a teaching textbook; this book is for reference only.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Managing the Software Process
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Watts S. Humphrey
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fundamental Reading for Software Process

This was Watts Humphries book which inspired others at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) to develop a model called the Capability Maturity Model for Software. The book attempts to debunk the fantasies of modern software development, such as "Superprogrammers" and "Best People." What is offered instead is a common sense approach which says that you can develop software using realistic schedules and have realistic expectations of quality if you follow common sense processes (roadmaps) for project management and quality.
There is not much mystery or razzle-dazzle in this book. I think that most of the programmers and managers who read it are usually nodding their heads in agreement with most of the ideas. Problem for us process war horses is that we lose track of what is the bottom line in software development - having a successful project. Definition: A reliable plan, on-time delivery, within the originally stated cost, and within or exceeding the requirements for quality.
The book does not have the acronym CMM in the title, but Humphries describes the maturity levels of a software engineering in the same context of the levels of software process maturity: Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Managed and Optimized. His approach is to look at the main features of each level, such as Project Plan, Software Configuration Management and Software Quality Assurance as part of the Repeatable Process.
I recommend that anyone interested in software process improvement read this book and internalize it before moving into the CMM for Software because it sets the background philosophy for the CMM. Ther are many errors which people make in trying to implement the CMM, such as compartmentalizing the maturity levels and Key Process Areas. If "Managing the Software Process" is read and understood in its entirety first, some of the mistakes may be avoided.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Easiest introduction to Perl

If you're already familiar with programming, this book is the fastest way to learn the essentials of Perl. It does not covers all features but if you need more specific things in Perl it probably means you should use another programming language. Perl is very efficient for string processing and matching regular expressions but certainly not for low-level programing with tight operational requirements. However, for writing scripts very fast to analyze files or performing simple operations, Perl is best !
If you want more advanced Perl features go to the "Perl Cookbook" that contains dozens of tricks for almost every possible problem or "Mastering algorithms with Perl"...but first look at the many Perl sites before considering buying such a book because almost everything in on the web !
If you want to learn Perl whithin a couple of hours, buy this book !

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Neural Networks: A Comprehensive Foundation (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Simon Haykin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Well suited for teachers and undergraduates...

There aren't too many words to comment on the book. If you have strong mathematical analysis basics and you love Neural Networks then you have found your book. It was hard at the beginning thus I had to brush up my memories of mathematical analysis to have the "puzzle" slowly shape up. All the algorithms are introduced by clear and rigorous mathematical theory. I think it's well suited for teachers and undergraduates.