Partly, it's that programming books have such low lifespan that the ones that still get recommended after a decade are often deeply assimilated into programmer culture already. For example, when I read Clean Code and Pragmatic Programmer last year, I didn't find any of it to be interesting or remotely surprising - but I have been working at "agile" shops for a while, and perhaps those ideas were more revelatory when the books first came out.
Here's a more fun reading list, based off my own tastes. Maybe some of these are on the list, but I found it hard to scroll past a certain point as well:
- Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets
- The Nature of Computation
- The Little Schemer
- Programming Pearls
Maybe following a tutorial in Erlang/Elixir might have the same effect, in addition to being more actual and practical, but also maybe less fun.
Anything that is more than a foundation is likely to be out of date by the time it’s published.
This especially holds true for modern (FoTM) languages and concepts.
So for the most part I stay away from practical books execept for the few ones that are set in stone.
Beyond that “philosophy” books can also be useful even if they are outdated simply because it makes you think and exposes you to other points of view and concepts that you can draw on.
Have any of you read Mastering PostgreSQL in Application Development[+]? I'm aware it's a fairly recent title, but I'm in need of something like that and am wondering if it's worth the money. The free sample chapter looks promising, I'll give it that.
I'm working my way through the official PostgreSQL docs, and they're really good, but I find myself struggling a bit (a lot). I'm fluent in a handful of programming languages (dabbled in many), and appreciate abstractions like HOFs and monads, but I'm finding it difficult to express myself in SQL, and that tells me some underlying concepts haven't quite clicked.
The Art of Computer Programming, SICP and Introduction to algorithms are books that are commonly recommended but very few people have finished reading them.
...truly a tome from the abyss of obscurity.
Quite few professional programmers (in the grand scheme of things) actually read programming books unless they're forced to.
FTFY. I agree, it's a shame but at the same time I understand.
also no physics or maths ?
oh and Loomis is everywhere in the drawing list, pretty cool
I mean just compare SICP and TAOCP covers to.. head first *; the latter look like self-help trash in b&n.
Now O'Reilly, they've got covers you can really believe in
This is the most ridiculous thing I've read all day. I can't even think of a comparison to further illustrate the stupidness of this sentence.
A) mass marketing is, and should be, frowned upon as a field, due to their use of extremely abusive strategies
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't appreciate those who advertise well, and that all of marketing should be frowned upon
B) marketing doesn't imply anything about the business
But in a lot of cases, it does, because they're either in a market where they should (most consumer products), or they're in a market where there's no need to (free software, extremely cheap retailers. business to business, non-finalized products, middlemen like amazon, monoprice, etc). And if they're in the former, and they pull off a shitshow, I don't see how its reasonable to not judge them for it.
There's a reason a large chunk of silicon valley puts such a massive strain on look&feel, UX, and all the shitty css frameworks, despite tech having the history of not giving the slightest shit.
They've moved into a market where marketing does play a major role, and their success at it should be indicative of other successes. The backend stuff might not have to care (but, it turns out, they still do; just a different fashion), but any final product landing on your phone as an "app" certainly does care, and they should be judged for trying, and failing.
That said, for things that aren't books, a marketing department that is complete dogshit might point to an opportunity. Berkshire Hathaway doesn't have great marketing. It doesn't need to.
If you go on Alibaba and find a merchant that has a great prospectus and a broad range of products, that's most likely a reseller. That means they take their share of the pie, and if you try to get something manufactured, you'll be working through a proxy. Better to find their manufacturer instead.
Marketing exists in the context of its market, and must be judged in that light. Sometimes cheap, shitty marketing is the best thing to do.
And to be clear, books to programmers is one of those fields where marketing matters; it just be because I'm more involved here than any other community, but its one of the heaviest trend-following communities I'm aware of, and seems to have been that way since the 80's.
Also toc and reviews is a second level filter; author may be first-level, mostly dependent on whether you actually know who he is; cover is almost always the first point of contact; physical or e-store, you're most likely looking at a list of covers.
It would be absurd not to realize this, and not to try taking advantage of it. And you should be judged for both, if you don't do it well.
And it would be absurd if you, as a consumer, are not aware, and do not take advantage of this situation (by acknowledging, and applying, a filter on covers!)
I agree that the Head First books look gross, but there are a lot of bad O'Reilly books (on the inside) even if the animal looks cool.
bad marketing implies bad product
Good marketing implies nothing
Its just a first-level filter
> bad marketing implies bad product
That definitely doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny.