Smart and gets things done

Smart and gets things done : Joel Spolsky’s concise guide to finding the best technical talent / Joel Spolsky. Apress, 2007.

This is for the HR person charged with hiring programmers, and the software manager. It is also obliquely for the programmer who is unsure why he does not like his current job, and needs to know what questions to ask of a prospective employer.

Spolsky writes in a lucid and flowing manner, as you will know if you have been reading his previous books on software design and his blog.

Professional C++

book coverProfessional C++ / Nicholas A. Solter, Scott J. Kleper. Wiley, c2005.

Here is everything a programmer needs to get going in C++. It’s a thick book, but it does not cover everything because there are so many details in C++. Job seekers will value the appendix, which lists likely interview questions. Managers who interview programmers will find this useful too.

Ajax in action

book coverAjax in action / Dave Crane, Eric Pascarello; Manning, c2006.

This is the best book on AJAX programming that I have seen. It used to be that Javascript was for small and crufty hacks, but now full apps run in the browser environment. The code needs to be structured to be maintainable. This well written and engaging book looks at web app design from all angles.

C++ coding standards

book coverC++ coding standards : 101 rules, guidelines, and best practices / Herb Sutter, Andrei Alexandrescu. Addison-Wesley, 2005

Such a simple yet invaluable book to anyone coding in C++, because code readability is so important. Lend it to co-workers and hope they read it.

The recommended standards are practical, and after you have read this book you will see them as common-sense. Each is supported by references to well known authorities.

Security Engineering

book coverSecurity engineering : a guide to building dependable distributed systems / Ross J. Anderson. Wiley 2008, hard cover

1000 very readable pages of straight talk on security.  This affects almost everyone.  The first edition was published in 2001, and the book appears to have been rewritten.  I wish there was a new edition yearly.

According to B. Schneier, “It’s beautiful. This is the best book on the topic there is”.

Silence on the wire

book coverSilence on the wire : a field guide to passive reconnaissance and indirect attacks by Michal Zalewski. No Starch Press, 2005

This book on internet security is much different than most. Firstly, it is a joy to read! It has no dry descriptions of the latest vulnerabilities, but instead it delves into the technologies that underlie the Internet, and explores their inherent limitations.

Professional Python frameworks

book coverProfessional Python frameworks : Web 2.0 programming with Django and TurboGears / Dana Moore, Raymond Budd, William Wright.

If you are developing web applications using Python you will want to use a framework so you are not re-implementing all the ‘glue’ that is common to all web apps and so you have a clear project structure to work around. This book is an excellent introduction to two frameworks, TurboGears and Django.

More info is at the Library of Congress