2011 in books
December is traditionally a time of retrospective posts. Forgive me please but I simply can’t resist following this trend. I’d like to share with you my thought about books I read this year. Hope you’ll find it useful when deciding what to read next.
REST in practice
This was the first Kindle book I bought. After reading it I could say I love both the book and the device. I learnt quite a lot about the principles of REST. The hardest part was understanding why these hypermedia are so important but then came the moment of enlightenment. I can for sure recommend reading it.
CSS: The Missing Manual
I must admit I had quite high expectations that I will learn how HTML layouts work and how to efficiently position elements. It turned out to be a book about CSS syntax and very basic stuff I already knew.
I wanted to learn a little bit about management for quite some time and suddenly this book came out. I simply love all the analogies (i.e. to bacteria) Jurgen uses in the book to explain how such complex systems as software developer teams work. Recommended to everybody, even if you don’t plan to become a manager.
Event Processing in Action
Another high expectation book and another disappointment. I expected a good book on event-driven architectures but actually EPiA is a book about taxonomy and nomenclature of event systems. Not much more than a bunch of definitions.
Dependency Injection in .NET
I bought it via Manning early access program and it was for sure not a waste of money. Although because I had some experience with DI before and have been up-to-date with blogs and tweets of Krzysztof Koźmic and Mark Seeman, there was not much new to me in the book. Still, I don’t regret the money and I can happily recommend the book, especially if you are new to DI.
The Pragmatic Programmer
A friend of mine recommended this book to me so I though I can give it a try. I had mixed feelings after reading it. I can’t recall a single thing that altered my thinking or opened my eyes to some new insight. For sure it is a solid book and at the time of writing it contained some cutting-edge stuff but after a few years these ideas have become mainstream and their understanding is expected even from novice developers.
Streamlined Object Modeling
After hearing so many good things about the book on Domain-Driven Design group I simply had to read it. To my surprise I dint’t like it. I could not get rid of a feeling that authors promote some catch-it-all model they developed and claim it solves all problems (even probably hunger in Africa). The only thing I really liked was the modeling heuristic that objects that are active in real world tend to work better if modeled as passive in the domain model and vice-versa.
Working Effectively with Legacy Code
I bought this one because we started to rewrite some legacy code in my current project. I wanted to learn from the expert how to deal with such code. It turned out to be a good, solid book. I don’t remember any particular moments of enlightenment but for sure I learnt a lot.
This is the last one. I’ve been reading it since Saturday and already read about 70%. Continuous Delivery is probably the best book I’ve read this year. Together with REST in Practice and Management 3.0, it totally changed the way I see software development as a process. Thanks Jez and Dave!
Looking into the new year…
There are several themes that dominate my Amazon wishlist for the next year:
- C# (need to refresh my knowledge)
- Lean (having heard a lot about Kanban I finally need to read some ‘classic’ books)
- Architecture (Pattern Oriented series in particular)
I would also like to read some ‘true classics’ like Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck. Life will show if this is doable…