Friday, May 29, 2009

Books: Beautiful Data and The Passionate Programmer

Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions
by Toby Segaran and Jeff Hammerbacher (try here)
Looking forward to his book which is due in July 2009.

The 39 contributors of the book explain how they developed simple and elegant solutions on projects ranging from the Mars lander to a Radiohead video.

Some of the topics include:
  • opportunities and challenges of datasets on the Web
  • visualize trends in urban crime using maps and data mashups
  • challenges of data processing system of space travel
  • crowdsourcing and transparency helps drug research
  • automatic alerts when new data overlaps pre-existing data
  • massive investment to create, capture, and process DNA data

The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development
by Chad Fowler (try here)

Chad Fowler argues here that your career in Software has to be a personal enterprise. And this publication from Pragmatic Bookshelf is one of my picks for the new engineers joining the Software industry, and who come for advice (and expects me to fortune tell for them :-)

This book is about creating a remarkable career in software development. In most cases, remarkable careers don't come by chance. They require thought, intention, action, and a willingness to change course when you've made mistakes. Most of us (including me to a larger part, and most of those that I know personally) have been stumbling around letting our careers take us where they may. While the uncertainty is not entirely avoidable, Fowler argues that it can be controlled, and this book aims to lay out a strategy for planning a possible successful life in software development.

Success in today's IT environment requires you to view your career as a business endeavour. This book tries to teach how to become an entrepreneur, driving your career in the direction of your choosing. Fowler talks about building your software development career step by step, following the same path that you would follow if you were building, marketing, and selling a product. After all, your skills themselves are a product.

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