What’s on Your Bookshelf?

My bookcase at work reflects what’s currently on my mind. Here’s the state of my mind in May 2008.

my bookcase circa May 2008

Apache: The Definitive Guide — I don’t know that this book is a must have. I look something up now and then.

Web Site Measurement Hacks — A goldmine. While written as a hands-on book, its value for me has been deeper understanding in the what, why and how of metrics. Err, measurements.

Essential ActionScript 3.0 — Actionscript is in my future.

New Practical Chinese Reader Workbook 1 — I have Mandarin class every Monday. The textbook (not shown) stays in my courier bag. I picked the workbook up at the same time but we don’t use it.

Practical Chinese Reader, Companion A — We don’t use the companion, either.

Extreme Programming Explained — XP Explained had a profound impact on my world view. It’s a dangerous book. A must read.

MySQL Database Design and Tuning — MySQL problems bite me on the ass every single day. There is no shortage of advice from web idiots. Sometimes, you run into someone online whose advice actually helps. This book give a structured walk-through of how to approach MySQL tuning.

MySQL 5.0 Certification Study Guide — When I hire the next database developer, I will have a better idea of what certification really means.

Agile Estimating and Planning — I call this the anti-stickies book. It is a policy wonks dream. It is about as lightweight as “Activity Based Costing” or Kepner-Tregoe’s “Work Breakdown Structures”. The processes should be lightened up and the book edited down to 99 pages.

The Ruby Way — Not as fun as Why’s ebook but just as relevant. Why the Lucky Stiff introduced me to Ruby. The Ruby Way just might get me out of the Java quagmire.

Build Your Own Ruby on Rails Web Applications — Why is it that publishers insist on repeating everything in every book. I would really like to see the introductory chapters relegated to a “install stuff on your computer” book. Then, scale the remaining information (the new information) to fit within 99 pages. If need be, split into two or more books and call it a “series”.

The Truth About Hiring the Best — I like the “truth about” books.

Linux System Administration — Somewhat outdated.

Essential PHP Tools: Modules, Extensions, and Accelerators — I’ve been pressed into service building a Facebook application. This book seemed interesting at Digital Guru.

Advanced PHP for Web Professionals — I worked a bit in PHP in 2002/2003 and picked this up then. It seems odd looking through the code examples now.

Flexible Rails: Flex 3 on Rails 2 — I saw Peter Armstrong’s presentation at SD Forum’s April ’08 Ruby conference. It changed how I viewed Flex.

Xen Virtualization — From Packt Publishing…home of 99 page books! (Though some of their books seem to have lost the recipe and creep around 200 pages. Boo!) I haven’t started this book. However, when I rebuild my developement server from RAID 5 to RAID 10, I’m installing Xen.

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