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Best Books you've come across

Hi joel,
        Could you please share with us the best books you've come across with a short description of why you liked that book.


Regards,
Karl M

Marx Karl
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Computer books?

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/navLinks/fog0000000262.html

[[These questions are too easy, people.]]

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Thursday, February 26, 2004

What about non-computer (and non-architecture)?  What's, say, your favorite novel?  What book is on your coffee table?

Kevin
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Well, I'm not Joel, but I maintain a "favorite books" page on my site, so for what it's worth:

http://www.astrocyte-design.com/books/index.html

(Note also the quote from Joel on the upper-right part of the page.)

Alex Chernavsky
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Hi joel,
          Thanks for the reply. I just want to know the non-computer books(excluding the link) that you've read and enjoyed very much.


Regards,
Karl M

Marx Karl
Friday, February 27, 2004

steve mcconnell  http://www.stevemcconnell.com new edition of code complete, http://www.stevemcconnell.com/cc2/cc.htm is being proofed before print. you can read the book (pdf). examples have been added in java, VB and cpp.

peter renshaw
Saturday, February 28, 2004

damn linkrot - http://www.tarra.nl/frantzen/homeowner/ch8p305.html  - would have liked to read this page.

I was reading GOF last night at borders. GOF treat patterns like cookbooks. Want to delegate use this pattern etc.

But this book (A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction) encourages you to build *your own*patterns for re-use.

peter renshaw
Saturday, February 28, 2004

Absolute favorite book: "Fate Is the Hunter", Ernest Gann's autobiographical story of the early days of commercial aviation -- http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0671636030/103-4994901-4587801

Favorite somewhat-geeky-but-not-strickly-computer-related book: "The Design of Everyday Things" by Dr. Donald Norman -- http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465067107/103-4994901-4587801

Keith Moore [exmsft]
Sunday, February 29, 2004

I bought Peopleware a couple years ago because I thought it might help me, as a programmer, get better working conditions (I was working somewhere with an unenlightened PHB).

It seemed pretty useless.  As a programmer, I already knew all that.  What I needed was a way to convince the PHBs that this stuff was true.  You can't go to a PHB and say "hey, I was reading this great book last weekend, and it says you should give me my own office, with a door".

Although, I agree that it's a great book for anybody managing programmers to read.  The trouble is, how do we get all our managers to read it?  (Reminds me of the suicide pill they gave Maxwell Smart to hide in his shoe in case things started going south: "Great!  How do I get them to take it?")

It seems like kind of a weird book to have on your list.  Every other book on the list is for programmers, but that one is for managers.

KH
Sunday, February 29, 2004

My all time favourite book is "Apollo, Race to the Moon". It's out of print now and is very expensive. I paid $200 three years ago to get a copy from a second hand book store in the US.

Its written from the techies point of view and is a gold mine. It also has humour. What more do you want ?

Two of my current favourites are by the late great Roy Jenkins (a British politician), big tomes about Churchill and another about past finance ministers (called Chancellors of the Exchequer over here). He had a wonderfully light writing style and also wit, highly recommended.

The history of the Atomic/Hydrodgen Bombs is awesome. What comes out of it is the irresponsibilty of the military (in the case of the H bomb). A rather frightening story.

whattimeisiteccles
Monday, March 01, 2004

>>> I bought Peopleware a couple years ago because I thought it might help me, as a programmer, get better working conditions ...
It seemed pretty useless.  As a programmer, I already knew all that.  What I needed was a way to convince the PHBs that this stuff was true.  <<<


It would be great if you can convince your current PHB to improve your working conditions, but it is not likely.  The more likely approach is to convince other programmers to read Peopleware, then convince them to take working conditions into consideration when hunting for their next job.

A few years ago when the job market was better I got a call from a recruiter.  I asked him what the office space was like at the place he was recruiting for.  He didn't know.  No one had ever asked him that.

Make this an action item for yourself: unless you're desparate for a job, then next time you talk to a recruiter ask about the work environment.  Make it clear that you expect the kind of high quality company that you want to work for would provide quiet private offices for all their developers.

This could be effective, but I am not optimistic about it happening.  Most job hunters go at their task with a certain attitude of desperation, they'll take whatever they can get.  Undertandible in the current market conditions, but it doesn't much matter what the conditions are.

mackinac
Monday, March 01, 2004

To be somewhat more on topic:  for non-CS reading I recommend some basic economics.  Two books by Buchholz, "From Here to Economy" and "New Ideas from Dead Economists" cover all the basics for the general reader and provide enough just knowledge to be slightly dangerous.

mackinac
Monday, March 01, 2004

Economics is an issue that  is increasingly effecting software development (Judge for yourself with the Outsourcing thread). One book (or series of books) that I've found interesting is Alvin Toffler's, Powershift.

google - http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=powershift+alvin+toffler&spell=1

amazon - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0553292153/002-9767327-5291267?v=glance

Toffler provides a framework to understand the information* revolution that is now underway.  Based on observation and built upon the ideas in prior books (Futureshock, Third Wave),  Powershift provides a framework to evaluate the growing information economy.

PS  Kragen informs me Steve Mconnell is slowly pulling down the Code Complete PDF files. Looks like you might have to wait until its in the stores.

Regs PR

peter renshaw
Thursday, March 04, 2004

Das Kapital of course Karl. What did you expect!

Mike Macsween
Sunday, March 07, 2004

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