I am looking around my place and as I get ready to move I see a lot of the boxes are books.  Now I don’t just read technical books, but I am always in the middle of one or the other and have a couple on standby, ready to be read.

In my normal daily blog scanning I read Top Ten Must Read Books  for the Java Developer and since he referenced this article with the same theme and I had read that one before I decided to throw in my two cents.

There is no disagreement with any books listed. For Java programmers, as long as you have Effective Java and Thinking in Java in your library, you are on the right track.  However, let’s add a couple.

1) Test Driven Development, A Practical Guide – Author David Astel’s superb introduction to the concepts of TDD with some really good examples.  This compliments, I am told, Kent Beck’s TDD book well.

2) Refactoring Databases – Scott Ambler and Pramodkumar J. Sadalage cover an important topic of refining and improving our application’s data.  I read the first few chapters as an overview to the subject and have and will continue to use the rest as a reference.

3) Pragmatic Programmer – Should be required reading for any developer.

4) Definitive Guide To Grails –  I believe you need to understand the growing market for languages such as Groovy and Ruby.  I chose this one as Groovy is based on Java technology and Grails uses some very familiar technology such as Spring and Hibernate underneath the covers.  Read as an options for testing your Java applications if nothing else.

Finally, anything by Steve McConnell….

If you read the two lists linked to at the beginning, take into consideration their recommendations and add in my minor contribution you have a pretty good start on some great reading.  Enjoy.

In a recent interview I was conducting with others I asked one of the questions I love to ask. What were the last two books related to SW development you read and in a sentence or two your opinion of it? After some hesitation and mumbling the candidate brought up Frederick P. Brooks, Mythical Man Month. OK, not a bad answer. Taking him on his word he had just read that. I didn’t test him, he gave a decent enought reason. His other answer was “a lot of BEA documentation”. Not very good….
However, this made me think of another piece from Brooks although I had read it a long time ago, No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering. If you haven’t read this I would encourage you to do so. Joel Spolsky in his Joel On Software blog commented on it here.

By the way, looking for a job. If you have had enough B.S. from people calling from the normal job sites take a look here. It is the Job Site from his Website Joel On Software.

I first heard about this listening to the Gillmor Gang. Jason Calacanis has sold sponsorship to his new audio and video podcast to help support the education of a disadvantaged youth. He is a big part of why I listen to this podcast and this is in no uncertain terms simply awesome! Read it about here (after the stuff about his keynote). Like he said during the Gillmor Gang, politics and changing policy is one thing, but if every person who was capable helped another in need we wouldn’t have needy people.

No I don’t get paid for this….

I am now regulary using Zoho Writer. We have also started using Zoho CRM at Vertical Company on a trial basis too.