97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know
Author: Richard Monson-Haefel
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2009
Pages: 224
ISBN: 978-0596522698
Aimed at: Software architects
Rating: 1
Pros: Reading it makes it looks like you are working
Cons: Almost zero content
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

This is another collection of "97" short essays that have been selected from a larger set which appeared on the web. Its a communal effort and as such goes to show that communal efforts are sometimes a waste of time.

In this case we have a fundamental problem in that the authors don't really seem to have a clear idea what software architecture actually is. If you read this book you will be exposed to comments on leading a team, people management, project management, attitudes towards life the universe and everything.

Many of the essays are short homilies that basically say - do your best, try harder or some other brainless and easy to spout aphorism. You can tell how shallow many of these essays are simply by realising that the titles usually say as much as the complete essay. You can guess what is coming as soon as you read the title - Don't put your resume ahead of requirements; Value Stewardship over Showmanship; Avoid "good ideas"; Choose Frameworks that Play Well with Others and so on...

This isn't really hardcore software architecture because in the main it tells you very little about software and nothing much about architecture - well not unless you mean real architecture as there is a contribution "Learn from Architects of Buildings" which has quotes from Frank Lloyd Wright.

For the programmer there is one voice in the collection that should strike the right note. Mike Brown's essays stand out as being the work of someone who can actually do the job. Who wouldn't agree with "If you Design It, You Should Be Able to Code it"  or "Before Anything, an Architect is a Developer". However even these sentiments are not enough to rescue the book.What we have here is a collection of 97 things to be inserted into fortune cookies and a such they might raise a smile or a nodding agreement.

As a book this is  dreadful waste of time and money.

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Dart in Action

Author: Chris Buckett
Publisher: Manning, 2013
Pages: 424
ISBN: 978-1617290862
Audience: Object-oriented programmers
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Mike James

Dart is Google's "other language" but it could be important and there is a need for a good book to explain why Google thinks it's worth the effort.



WebGL Beginner's Guide

Author: Diego Cantor and Brandon Jones
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Pages: 376
ISBN: 978-1849691727
Audience: Beginners not afraid of the technical stuff
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Mike James

WebGL is growing in importance as a way of getting 3D graphics into web pages. The problem is that 3D is a tough subject [ ... ]


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