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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Start Here! Learn Microsoft Visual C# 2010

Author: John Paul Mueller
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Pages: 364
ISBN: 978-0735657724
Aimed at: Complete beginners
Rating: 1
Pros: Good choice of language
Cons: Wrong level, wrong order and wrong priorities for the beginner
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

C# is a good choice for a first language, but is this book th [ ... ]



HTML5 Canvas (2nd ed)

Author: Steve & Jeff Fulton
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2013
Pages: 750 
ISBN: 978-1449334987
Aimed at: JavaScript programmers
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Ian Elliot

This is a big book and you can't help but wonder why it has so much to say about Canvas - which is a fairly simple graphics subsystem.  [ ... ]


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