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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java 2: The Complete Reference, Fifth Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Herbert Schildt
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
very very well written. Excellent !!

i have read many books on java that take you from the beginning into the advanced. You wont find a better book than this one. It explains EVERYTHING you wonder about.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, John Brant, William Opdyke, Don Roberts
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
rare combo: authoritative, original, and well written

I needed to buy the book, to begin to get serious about the topic. Since it is the original, I expected it to be authoritative and useful, but perhaps somewhat dense and a bit hurried. Well it's not. It's extremely well-conceived and well-executed. The language, organization, and scope are all excellent. Fowler begins with and continually provides good examples, and always chooses a clear narrative arc through the theory and practice of this new discipline.
He makes a single book serve equally well as tutorial and reference, which is danged hard to do. The style of writing is confident, unpretentious, crisp as a Granny Smith apple, and occasionally witty. What issues he chooses to argue forcefully are few, and are not beaten to death. What a relief.
As a result, the non-reference sections are a much quicker and easier read than I expected, and one can actually browse the reference on refactorings usefully. The net effect is quite a convincing case that software engineers will inevitably become expert with refactorings, as we are required more and more to design our code according to objective standards for excellence, keep our code maintainable, and review it among peers. In any case, I am now among the converts.
If you found Fowler's UML Distilled to be well-written, you will like this one even better.
I think it is a gem of a book. I will read it many times.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PMP Exam Prep (4th Edition)
Publisher: Rmc Pubns Inc
Authors: Rita Mulcahy
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Hard to get passed the arrogance

I bought this book because it looked like the most read and used book for PMP Certification. To be sure, the book covers plenty of topics and did get me ready for the exam. But, it was harder to get the content out of the book than was necessary. Rita is clearly an expert PMP - and she never let's you forget it. She "teaches" by constantly making you feel stupid, and saying things like "... and you should have no problem with this because I told you to memorize xxx back in chapter yyy". It would have been nice if she had backed off of the sarcasm a bit and realized that her audience IS stupid as far as PM goes - that's why we bought the book! If I were to do it again, I would have purchased a different book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: An Embedded Software Primer
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: David E. Simon
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Well-written, good examples, author shares his experience

Particularly useful for those just starting out in embedded software or for students at the bachelors level. Contains many real world-type examples and illustrates some common errors that we will all tend to make. Also, I know that electrical engineering students often don't get exposure to operating system concepts and computer science students lack exposure to hardware issues. This book helps to smooth over what you may be missing in your education. For the practicing engineer, I recommend it, not so much for reference, but for re-enforcement and clarification of essential concepts. Also it will add quality to your code.