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Stephen Handley (Nottingham, United Kingdom)

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Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction
by Steve McConnell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you write code for a living you must read this book, 6 Jun. 2011
I was introduced to this book in 1st edition guise after writing code for about 10 years. I could not put it down it was so gripping. I now have the 1st and 2nd edition; one copy at the office and one at the bedside. I read it again, and again and again and again.

So why is it so good? Why should you get a copy?

This book is not language specific, although there are plenty of coding samples in various popular languages. That is the crux of the matter; good programming habits transcend all languages. This book is packed full of good habits, great nuggets of coding commonsense and Yoda-esque wisdom. You can open this book at any random page and just start reading pure gold.

There are millions more programmers in the world more gifted than I, but I defy any one of them to read this book and not acknowledge it's universal merit and relevance to their art. If you are just starting out, it is even more valuable. Without a doubt, reading this book has had the most profound and lasting influence on how I code and how I think about code. I know I write better, more readable, more maintainable code for having read this book.

Unix for Dummies Quick Reference
Unix for Dummies Quick Reference
by Margaret Levine Young
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.88

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really excellent, 16 April 2007
Not knowing much about unix and having recently moved into a unix environment, I was after a reference book that would allow me to get up to speed quickly.

This book has done precisely that. I wasn't after yards and yards of pros, just a reference for the various commands and switches. I would recommend it to anyone in a similar situation to myself. It's compact, comprehensive and cheap. What more could you want?

Professional Web Graphics for Non Designers
Professional Web Graphics for Non Designers
by Adrian Roselli
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all - an excellent book, 28 Jan. 2004
I have found this book extremely valuable in improving the aesthetic appeal of my web pages.
As with any educational/technical book its value to the reader will vary according to his or her past experience and what they want to learn - where they have come from and where they want to go. To understand my rating is understand where I came from and what I wanted from the book.
My background is programming, not graphic design. Moving into developing applications for the web highlighted my woeful graphic design skills. At first I thought that by simply looking at lots of well designed sites I would learn all that I needed to know. However, this did nothing to advance my understanding of good design principles. Whilst I could differentiate between a great looking site and a site like mine I struggled to quantify or classify those things that set them apart.
I wanted a book that would give me an instant hit of graphic design “rules” that I could apply to my work. What I didn’t want was a book that explained how to use graphic/web design packages (Fireworks/Dreamweaver etc) to create great sites – just something that explained design principles and good stylistic elements.
This book does exactly what it says on the cover. Chapter by chapter, the book deconstructs the various elements of good web graphic design. Topics such as colour theory, the use of text and organising the overall page layout are examined in great depth. Examples of good design are compared with the same thing done poorly. What makes the good things good and the poor things poor gets explained in plain English. As you would expect, there are many pictorial examples of these principles in practice. Many of the pictures of web pages in the book have arrows and lines drawn over them to draw your attention to what the text explains. I found it very much the case that I read, I looked at the accompanying images and there and then the penny dropped – “eureka!” kind of moments.
Along the way, the book dissects the html and CSS source to make the visual elements possible. If you have no experience of CSS I would recommend some additional reading. However, you could happily skip the pages on CSS and still gain valuable lessons, read up on CSS and then go back.
Anyone following a similar path to my own is sure to find this book equally rewarding.

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