Summer Reading List

June 13, 2008 at 3:09 am Leave a comment

I’ve noticed a lot of interesting summer reading lists online lately, so I thought I would share my (current) summer reading list …

ImageBack of the napkin: Dan Roam

Ok … so I just finished this one, but it’s so good I wanted to make sure I included it on the list. Wow, what an amazing book. If I had to pick a fault I would say that it’s a little on the light side on some topics, but I could also make the argument that this is one of the books strengths, so its a wash. I like that he sort of gives you the tools and the confidence you need to go out there and do it, but doesn’t waste a lot of time with hand holding. I’m going to re-read this one in about a month to see if I can get any new insights after I’ve played with the techniques I’ve learned. I highly recommend this to anyone that has to explain complicated projects to others.

ImageBeyond Words: A Guide to Drawing Out Ideas: Milly Sonneman

I found this one during an Amazon search for books about visualizing data. It looks like a real winner. It’s basically a how to draw book. I followed a link from a reviewer to the books home page and they had a couple free examples of how they teach drawing. Even I could do it! I think this book will make a good follow up to back of the napkin. ‘napkin’ is strong on concept, but it doesn’t really go past stick figures. The demo I did was just a step past stick figures, but I think it will help me build confidence in my drawings.

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Head First C#: Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene

This one has been on my reading list for a LONG time. For the past year I’ve been off again / on again studying vb.net. The job I’m on now prefers C#, so C# is on my list! I’ve read a couple head first books (Java, Object Oriented Analysis and Design, Design Patterns and HTML) so I’m familiar with the format. If you’ve never read a head first book you should check out their web site to get an idea of how they work. Head first books are very visual, very much in line with the concepts at the core of ‘Back of the napkin’. I’ve enjoyed every other head first book and I’m looking forward to reading this one.

ImageShow Me the Numbers: Stephen Few

As I began to get comfortable with sql 2005 reporting services I realized that if I wanted to be taken seriously as business intelligence developer I had better get a LOT more comfortable with charts and graphs. Up to now I’ve gotten by with just barely being able to tell the difference between the x and y axis on a chart. A little research and a tip from a friend turned up this gem. This book is simply incredible. I’m slowly working my way through it, but I have no doubt when I’m finished I will know more about charts and graphs than anyone I work with, hands down. It’s clear to me that the future of business intelligence will be strongly influenced by people like Stephen Few. I’ll post a more detailed review with my notes when I’m finished reading this one.

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Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying: Itzik Ben-Gan

This is another one I’ve been slowly working through. This is not a light read. I find myself really having to pay attention, and more than once caught myself re-reading the same page several times to make sure I get the point. This guy completely owns t-sql, and soon so shall I!

ImageMicrosoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services 2005: Brian Larson

And finally a reporting services book. I actually thought I was getting on top of things with Reporting Services and then this book comes along to show me how much I still have to learn! I’m loving the walk throughs and finding tons of useful little tricks in every chapter. This one will stay on my desk long after I’ve finished it to serve as a reference (and a reminder that there is ALWAYS more to learn.)

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Lost templates in visual Studio 2005. my love hate relationship with SSIS … part 17: curly braces!

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