The Art of Agile Development by James Shore and Shane Warden

This book provides an excellent introduction to the principles and methods of Agile Development, and specifically to the authors' variation on Extreme Programming. Agile seems to be a somewhat controversial issue, however this book makes a good case. I experienced my own personal paradigm shift reading the book, and was inspired to write my own ideas about Agile Development and what it has to offer, much of which is my reflection of material from the book. Just as with Code Complete, I shall be looking for opportunities to put these principles into practice in my own professional work.

This is a worthwhile book for anyone who actually writes code. It changed my thinking about programming. It's especially enjoyable for those of us who are ones (on the Enneagram, that is). McConnell details what research has discovered of "best practices" in software development. His thorough knowledge of the professional literature is as valuable here as his experience; the book is repleat with bibliographic information. The book borders on pedantic at times. A number of concepts are rehashed in several places in the book. The strength of the book is the statistic (scientific) evidence McConnell brings to support his claims. He lapses on occasion; in his discussion of code formatting, for example, he makes theory-based claims which he admits are not supported by the research to date. Overall, McConnell practices what he preaches. His dedication to quality is apparent; in 862 pages, I only found five errors.

Object Oriented Perl by Damian Conway

This book is a great resource and a good read. Conway provides a good summary of perl, an excellent introduction to object-oriented programming, and a very thorough treatment of the OOP ins-and-outs of perl. I found only one error in this book.

According to tradition, no book is without errors. Knuth's classic set is, among other things, a substantial attempt to defy this tradition. TAOCP is a strictly-theory book, a masterpiece, a lifetime's work, a labor of love. As part of his effort to produce the perfect book, Knuth developed TeX and METAFONT for computer typesetting, as well as the Computer Modern family of typefaces. Aside from Knuth's mastery of computers and of typesetting, TAOCP demonstrates Knuth's facility with the English language and his understanding of pedagogy. The books is extremely well written, a pleasure to read. Knuth provides warm, sensitive, and at times humorous guidance through the book while simultaneously challenging the reader with highly demanding material.

Unix System Administration Handbook by Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Scott Seebass, and Trent R. Hein

This book is an excellent resource for users and administrators alike. The Unix version has three editions, published in '88, '95, and '00. The second edition covered Solaris 2.4, HP-UX 9.0, IRIX 5.2, SunOS 4.1.3, DEC's OSF/1 2.0, and BSD/OS 1.1. The third edition covers Solaris 2.7, HP-UX 11.00, Red Hat 6.2 and FreeBSD 3.4/4.0. The authors have also published an all-Linux version.

Practical C++ by Mark Terribile

This book is out-of-print and will stay that way. It is a failed attempt to write a book which is simultaneously an encyclopedia of C++ and a beginner's guide. The author's dual purposes led him to some awful organizational decisions such as discussing namespaces and nested classes in depth before introducing the new and delete operators. It is poorly written and has countless errors (I found 50 in the first 100 pages or so and then gave up reading). In the introduction, Terribile encourages the reader to "Please try the examples." He should have done so himself! The example code is particularly riddled with typos, not to mention ellipses, which render them useless. I only mention this book here because it annoys me not only that people publish books of this quality, but that we in the computer industry often don't get honest reviews. Call a spade a spade! Francis Glassborow loses all credibility by rating the book "highly recommended" in his C Vu review. From the review Andrew W. Eliasz gives this book, I wonder if he even read it.