Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Programming Books and a $200 Amazon Gift Certificate

I received a $200 Amazon gift certificate and here's what I got:
  • Implementation Patterns ($34) by Kent Beck. Tips for maintainable code. Should be a fun read.
  • Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture ($43) by Martin Fowler. Web presentation, concurrency, O/R, distributed objects.
  • Pro JavaScript Techniques ($30) by John Resig (jQuery creator). I'd watched a video of one of John's talks, and liked what I heard. I've read another JavaScript book (JavaScript: The Definitive Guide), and look forward to learning JavaScript best practices from this book.
  • Why Programs Fail: A Guide to Systematic Debugging ($58) by Andreas Zeller. The priciest book of the bunch. Looks like it's written in an engaging way. Hope to expand on the debugging techniques I learned from Debugging: The Nine Essential Rules.
  • jQuery Reference Guide ($31). jQuery is the new kid on the JavaScript-framework block, so I'd like to learn more about it.
Books which, alas, didn't make the cut:
  • Domain-Driven Design $44. Many reviews complained of its verbosity.
  • xUnit Test Patterns $45. Too long (900 pages).
  • Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs $70. I should read this sometime.
  • Code Complete 2 $30. Read the original Code Complete some years ago. Wonder if the new edition merits a second reading.
  • Programming Pearls $30. A favorite of James Gosling and Tim Bray.


  • $50 less than last year hey - must be something to do with the weak dollar… ;-)

    I'm sure these books will inspire you further in 2008, and I for one look forward to seeing the results!

    Happy Christmas Jon!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/23/2007 11:01 a.m.  

  • I have a copy of DDD you are welcome to borrow next time you are down in Palo Alto. It is verbose (and bit fluffy at times), but has some good ideas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/23/2007 11:16 a.m.  

  • Thanks Paul!

    Thanks Brian - Yeah a reviewer said the same thing - verbose, but there are some gems that reward digging.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 12/24/2007 3:04 p.m.  

  • Nice choices Jon. I just did mine.

    I went for:

    Winning Ways vol. 1 (Conway),
    Death and Life of Great American Cities (Jacobs),
    Beautiful Code (Oram),
    Software Creativity 2.0 (Glass),
    Understanding Probability (Tijms),
    Beautiful Evidence (Tufte)

    But I have to wait 22-30 days for them to turn up :( ... should have paid for priority shipping!

    By Blogger Thomas David Baker, at 1/06/2008 8:01 a.m.  

  • Cool! Beautiful Code looks interesting. And Tufte's books are wonderful.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 1/06/2008 1:18 p.m.  

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