Back in December, I blogged the books I was planning to read in January and February. Here are the quick summaries:
- Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages: too much "gosh wow" for me (and also too much shaky science).
- The Online Learning Idea Book: to paraphrase, what was new wasn't interesting, what was interesting wasn't new.
- Patterns for Fault-Tolerant Software: nice set of patterns; pity there weren't examples to bring them to life for those of us who don't have the author's first-hand experience of real-time problems and their solutions.
- Practical API Design: still working on it---started with some philosophy (never a good sign), but by Chapter 3 gets into meatier stuff.
- e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: on pg 42, the authors say, "Shavelson and Towne eloquently [my emphasis] summarize the argument for evidence-based practice in education: 'One cannot expect reform efforts in education to have significant effects without research-based knowledge to guide them.'" By comparison with the rest of the book, that is eloquent: there might be good ideas lurking in its turgid Brezhnevian prose, but I gave up before finding them.
- Workflows for e-Science: like most collections, hit and miss---there are a few thought-provoking articles, but most spend their time repeating things readers will already know, or describing successes without any reflection on failures.
I also read:
- Foundations of Security: What Every Programmer Needs to Know: a good undergraduate-level intro that lives up to its subtitle.
- Pragmatic Thinking & Learning: uneven, but thought-provoking.
- Scientific Collaboration on the Internet: would have been out of date two years before it was published, and manages to make one of the things I'm most interested in these days seem as unappetizing as stale cornflakes.
- The Art of Debugging: decent intro to the standard features of debuggers for imperative languages; not much on strategies or the zillion other kinds of debugging developers routinely encounter (like the configuration problem I spent a couple of hours trying to track down a couple of weeks ago).
Thankfully, there are lots of interesting books coming out in the next few months. I’ll be lucky if I get to read any three of them, of course, but I can always dream:
- 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know
- Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman
- The Art of Application Performance Testing
- The Art of Concurrency
- Beginning Python Visualization
- Beautiful Teams
- Data Processing and Visualization with Ruby
- Debug It!
- Gray Hat Python
- The Geek Atlas
- Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests
- Growing Software: Proven Strategies for Managing Software Engineers (I'm keen to see what the authors consider "proof")
- High Performance Python
- Masterminds of Programming: Inspiring Conversations with Creators of Major Programming Languages
- The Nomadic Developer
- Playing with Python
- The Process of Software Architecting (even though that is not a real verb)
- Rails AntiPatterns
- Real-Time Agility
- Refactoring: Ruby Edition
- Winning the Hardware-Software Game: Using Game Theory to Optimize the Pace of New Technology Adoption
(Ironically, I now have to be much more careful which technical books I gamble on: since I’m no longer DDJ’s book review editor, and don’t have any research money to spend on books, I have to buy them myself. How barbaric… :-)