Book Shelf 2007

I'm frequently asked what resources I use, what books I read, websites I visit and podcasts I listen to. Recently I posted about my podcast listening habits so I thought I'd follow that up with my current reading list:

Some of the books there are very old and some I have not read yet, they're just on my list. So I'll start at the top and give a quick run down:
  • C# Design Patterns - This one is OK, but not great. All the examples are written in C# but clearly by a Java developer. I would not recommend anyone spend their own cash on this book, you'd probably get just a good information on wikipedia
  • Software Estimation, Demystifying the Black Art - McConnell is a god, every developer should own this book
  • Performance Testing .Net Web Applications - I have had this book sometime and I have never got through it; not sure if it's because I'm not as interested in the subject as I should be or that it's just not that well written. I would not recommend this book
  • The .Net Developer's Guide to Windows Security - Keith Brown really knows his stuff, this book is excellent and highly recommended (it's also freely available on-line at zero cost)
  • .Net Web Services - Don't waste your cash, shame as a good book on this topic is sorely needed
  • Software Project Survival Guide - Even though I'm a software guy and not a project guy I loved this book; it's McConnell 'nuff said
  • Windows Forms Programming in C# - Everything Chris Sells writes is golden. I mean it, golden. Petzold needs to take a few pointers from this guy
  • The C# Programming Language - This is a reference work and adds very little to the documentation, in my view
  • Essential ASP.Net 2.0 - I have not yet read this but loved his first book on ASP.Net, to the extent that this will probably be the only book I buy on ASP.Net 2.0
  • Programming Windows Presentation Foundation - Another the Chris Sells stable, I'm currently reading this and I has been great so far (1/4 of the way through). The only negative point I would make is that the samples in the book are out of date as this was based on WinFX beta 1; that said the concepts are all valid and very well presented
  • Essential Windows Presentation Foundation - Excellent, any WPF developer needs this book. For his first outing Chris Anderson has done a wonderful job. If this book is used in conjunction with the Sells and Griffiths book you're in a really good place
  • Windows Forms 2.0 Programming - Chris Sells once more, 'nuff said, this is excellent
  • .Net Internationalization - Just started reading this yesterday and have found it to be excellent so far (nearly finished chapter 3); flicking ahead, this book looks like it's going to be a classic
  • Framework Design Guidelines - There really is very little I can say about this book other than it absolutely, positively, with out a shadow of a doubt ROCKS! You should not be coding without it

Some notable absences: Petzolds books on Windows Forms (1.0) and WPF; I have read both and been disappointed to say the least by the latter and bored rigid by the former; I would be very unlikely to read any more of his work, I think the king is dead, long live Chris Sells.

A book that is current in progress (but was in the car when I took the picture) was Programming WCF Services by Juval Lowy, this book absolutely rocks! I still have a couple of chapters to go but still highly recommend it. I'm in the need of a second book on the topic that has more samples or code - I find myself with Juvals book needing to write code to fully grok what he means, that said it's excellent and must have for any Web Service developers today.

Also missing is McConnells work Code Complete. I have read both editions cover to cover and they are excellent and it goes without saying highly recommended. The reason they are not present is that they are sat on my shelf at home.

Finally the last book I would like to mention is Don Box's book called Essential .Net, Volume 1: The Common Language Runtime; this book is based on the 1.0 version of the .Net Framework and is an excellent piece of writing and technical information - I think I have enjoyed reading Don more that any other writer on a technical subject, superb and a must for any serious .Net developer.

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