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  Books: Must Read  
  This page describes books I highly recommend  
 
Software Engineering Advanced Programming User Interfaces
Creativity
 
 
 
Software Engineering
Code Complete, Second Edition
$35.00, 914 pages, paperback.

The second edition of a seminal work in software construction techniques. This book explains real-world considerations for writing maintainable programs. It talks about techniques that let you build quality into every phase of software construction. This edition has been updated for the latest technology. It includes around 500 examples in Visual Basic, C++, C, Java, Fortran, Pascal, and more that are tied to the book's Web site for easy downloading. It's concepts apply to any programming language, however. The book discusses design, classes, defensive programming, pseudocode, issues with variables, statements (conditionals, loops, table-driven methods), testing, debugging, refactoring, tuning, software construction management, and much more. It includes a copy of Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 on DVD, which is almost worth the price of the book. I'm not always a great fan of Microsoft Press books but this is one book that EVERY programmer and technical manager should read!
Code Complete, Second Edition
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Bug Proofing Visual Basic
Bug Proofing Visual Basic
$39.99, 397 pages, paperback.

This book teaches programming skills that every Visual Basic developer should have. It explains ways to minimize the number of errors in your programs, methods for exposing errors so they are easy to fix, and techniques for correctly handling unexpected errors that do occur.

[Learn more - Wiley ]

Debugging The Development Process
(Out of print but may be available used), 183 pages, paperback.

This book explains how to keep a software team on track, focused, meeting dealines, and producing a quality product. An excellent discussion of what makes teams work and what make them fail. Required reading for team leaders, managers, and anyone who wants to build an interesting and rewarding work environment.
Debugging The Development Process

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Writing Solid Code
Writing Solid Code
$24.95, 256 pages, paperback.

As its title implies, this book explains techniques used by Microsoft to build applications with as few bugs as possible. The author makes a very strong argument that zero defect code is possible and he details the methods you need to follow to achieve this goal. The examples are in C but the techniques apply to all languages.

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Code Craft, The Practice of Writing Excellent Code
$44.95, 580 pages, paperback.

Another good book along the lines of "Code Complete" and "Writing Solid Code." This book discusses about defensive programming, code standards and naming conventions, comments, tools, testing, design, specifications, reviews, and project estimates. Author Pete Goodliffe has an interesting, even amusing style that's easy to read. An excellent choice for occasional reading on the bus and between meetings. See a longer review.
Code Craft, The Practice of Writing Excellent Code
The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition
The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition
$29.95, 336 pages, paperback.

This software engineering classic explains such things as why adding more programmers to a project makes it later, why schedules slip, and why the Tower of Babel fell. It explains good and bad ways to organize large projects. Required reading for all computer professionals including project managers and supervisors.

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201 Principles of Software Development
(Out of print but may be available used), 240 pages, hardcover.

Gives 201 maxims covering all phases of software development. The maxims are short and easy to understand for programmers and managers alike.
201 Principles of Software Development

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How to Write for the World of Work
How to Write for the World of Work
$71.00 (used), 240 pages, paperback.

A no nonsense guide to how to write clearly and effectively. It covers specific formats like inquiry and response letters, employment letters, custom relation letters, reports, memos, descriptive documentation, etc. This should be required reading for every white-collar worker, especially programmers!

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Advanced Programming
Ready-to-Run Visual Basic Code Library
$49.99, 424 pages, paperback with CD.

This book presents 173 detailed example programs demonstrating basic, intermediate, and advanced techniques for solving real-world programming problems. Learn to work with numbers, manipulate databases, handle text, format output, get the most out of ListBox, ComboBox, TabStrip, and other controls, use menus, etc.
Ready-to-Run Visual Basic Code Library

[Learn more - Wiley ]

Ready-to-Run Visual Basic Algorithms, Second Edition
Ready-to-Run Visual Basic Algorithms, Second Edition
$49.99, 327 pages, paperback with CD.

This book explains important algorithms and data structures for Visual Basic programmers. Studying algorithms is an important way to learn new, more advanced programming techniques once you have learned the basics. Many universities require algorithms classes for second year computer science majors.

[Learn more - Wiley ]

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
$49.95, 395 pages, hardcover.

This book describes advanced object-oriented paradigms for performing common tasks such as enumerating the items in a data structure. The examples are in C++ and Smalltalk, but the concepts translate easily into Visual Basic. A thought provoking book that will stretch your object-oriented programming skills.
Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

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User Interfaces
Art of Human-Computer Interface Design
Art of Human-Computer Interface Design
$39.95, 523 pages, paperback.

A collection of papers by the people at Apple. The papers cover some very interesting topics not covered by other books including techniques for observing users, lessons from kids, learning from computer game design, and interface agents.

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The Design of Everyday Things
$39.95, 257 pages, paperback.

This fascinating book describes user interface issues that arise in every day objects like doorknobs and microwave ovens. Thought provoking reading that will give you new insights in how users percieve your applications.
The Design of Everyday Things

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Creativity
A Whack on the Side of the Head
A Whack on the Side of the Head
(Out of print but available used for under $2.00), 196 pages, paperback.

This is one of the more optional books on this list. It contains mental excercises for increasing creative thinking. Creative thinking is essential to becoming an expert programmer!

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A Kick in the Seat of the Pants
$16.00, 160 pages, paperback.

Another optional book in the vein of "A Whack on the Side of the Head."
A Kick in the Seat of the Pants

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The Devil's Dictionary
The Devil's Dictionary
$13.97, 440 pages, hardcover.

Satirist Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) started compiling these humorous, witty, and sometimes scathing definitions in the weekly journal Wasp in 1881. Today the word play and double meanings have a wry bite missing from much of today's humor. A few examples: DIPLOMACY, n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country. HAPPINESS, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another. PRESIDENT, n. A temporary chief, elected by the leaders of a party of political bandits, for the purpose of dividing the spoils amongst them. SENATE, n. A body of elderly gentlemen charged with high duties and misdemeanours.

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The Devil's Dictionary
$10.36, 148 pages, paperback.

An abbreviated paperback version of the previous book.
The Devil's Dictionary

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