Bill Pringle - Bill@BillPringle

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Recommended Books and Web Sites

Recommended Books

The following books are ones that I recommend for my students. I don't get any royalties or anything, so getting them won't necessarily help your grade. Reading and undestanding them will probably help, though.

Book Information Who Should Read Description
The Mythical Man-Month
Essays on Software Engineering

Frederick P. Brooks Jr
Addison-Weseley, 1996
ISBN: 0201835959
All classes This book (IMHO) should be required reading for all MIS students. In fact, it should be required reading for anyone who plans to work on any software project, regardless of their position.
Some of the sections are somewhat dated (e.g., the price of memory), but there are still lots of great lessons to be learned.
The Practice of Programming
by Kernighan and Pike
Addison-Weseley, 1999
ISBN 0-201-61586-X
Paperback - 288 pages
All classes Possibly the best programming book you will ever read.

This book should be read by anyone who wants to become a programmer. MIS students would also benefit greatly from this book.

If you were to study and understand this book before taking one of my classes, you could easily earn an A for the course. It covers Programming Concepts, Data Structures and Algorithms, and lots more great topics.
The Principles of Beautiful Web Design
by Jason Beaird
Sitepoint, 2007
ISBN 13:978-0-9758419-6-9
Paperback - 168 pages
All classes There are lots of books about how to configure web sites, but this is one of a few that tell you why you want to do things. It covers aspects like composition, layout, color schemes, etc.
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction
by Steve C McConnell
Microsoft Press, 1993
ISBN: 1556154844
857 pages
Programmers, MIS students This book is a good overview of how to make good programming decisions. New programmers would benefit from it since it gets you started on the right track.
MIS students would benefit because it points out areas where managers often make bad decisions, and explains why.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
An Inquiry into Values

by Robert M. Pirsig
Bantam Books, 1984
ISBN: 0553277472
Paperback: 380 pages
All classes This is an excellent book about how to think. It starts off with the discovery that the scientific methodology is basically flawed, and that we can never know anything for sure.
Superficially, the book is about a divorced man who drives cross country with his son on a motorcycle after a mental breakdown. But much of it is devoted to his thought process of how to know what he knows.
Java Network Programming (2nd edition)
by Merlin Hughes, Michael Shoffner, and Derek Hamner, with Umesh Bellur
ISBN 1-884777-49-X
Paperback - 807 pages
Programmers If you are a programmer and wonder what all the fuss is about Java, and/or Object Oriented Programming, then this book is for you. They take you through a series of iterations to build some fairly complicated applications, where each layer is a fairly small amount of new code.
The Unix Programming Environment
by Kernighan and Pike
ISBN: 013937681X
Paperback - 357 pages
Programmers This is an excellent book for any programmer, but especially if you work with Unix. In addition to teaching you how to write good programs, it also teaches you how to think about the problem and develop general solutions, reuse software, etc.
Programming the World Wide Web
by Robert W. Sebesta
ISBN 0-201-70484-6
Paperback 460 pages
All classes This book gives a good overview of the programming involved in the web. The emphasis is on client side programming, although Perl is covered for CGI programming.
The Art of Unix Programming
by Eric S. Raymond
All classes This book is available for free on the web, and you can also buy a paper copy as well. The author is the same person who wrote the Open Source classic "The Cathedral and the Bazaar". It provides insight into how Unix developers think, and how the approach solving problems.

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Web Resources

This section contains list of web sites, broken down by topics.

Web Site Description
This site contains descriptions and links for a wide variety of free software that has been built for Windows machines.
Java Developer Connection
This site is run by Sun, and is the semi-official Java site. You have to join JDC to use some of the pages, but it doesn't cost anything (other than getting occasional e-mail :^) You can get a lot of tips on how to write Java programs, as well as early release of software.
Microsoft Developer Network
This is the official Microsoft site that contains all kinds of information on various Microsoft products. It is written for programmers who are using Microsoft software products. If you purchase a Microsoft product, a MSDN CD-ROM is often included. If you have the disk space, that is better since you don't have to wait for your browser to load the next page.
Carol Newmark resource page
This page has lots of nice links to VB sites. Carol Newmark teaches a number of computer courses at SUNY Rockland Community College. The page is actually set up for her students, similar to this page. Please don't e-mail her any questions. :^)
Advanced Bash Scripting Guide 2.2
(Click for Article)
The Advanced Bash Scripting Guide is both a reference and a tutorial on shell scripting. This comprehensive book (the equivalent of about 590 print pages) covers almost every aspect of shell scripting. It contains 277 profusely commented illustrative examples, and a number of tables.
Comparison of Java and C# A fairly extensive comparison of Java and C#
Bruce Eckel's Free Electronic Books
Download and read a number of "Thinking In ... " books. "Thinking in Java" and "Thinking in Patterns" are good choices. I seem to recall a "Thinking in Python", but didn't see it here.
Java Tree Models A cute Java applet that demonstrates behavior of binary search trees.
How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python
Another installment in a series of free e-books to help people learn about computer programming.
Microsoft Community Home Page
A Microsoft Resource for various developer communities.
Programmer's Heaven
This site boasts a lot of code samples. I haven't used this site much, so I can't say much more about it.
Common Lisp: A Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation
Click here for page
This is an on-line book on LISP.
Web Site Description
How to Design Programs
This is an online book that helps you understand what is involved in designing computer programs.
MIT Open Course Ware
This is a collection of lots of courses available for free from MIT. They contain lecture notes, exercises, etc. It is a great way to learn something on your own.
Software Patterns Homepage
Software patterns is an attempt to communicate how designers design software.
Web Site Description
Web Monkeys
This site has an excellent selection of tutorials about all kinds of web related topics. The lessons are well written and mingled with humor
A List Apart
This web site has a number of articles on web development.
Spanky Corners
This is a really nice tool that will create rounded corners without needing JavaScript. You specify the foreground and background colors, along with the radius of the curve, and it will generate image files and CSS code that will cause the corners to appear rounded.
CSS Zen Garden: The Beauty in CSS Design
This is a really neat site that uses the exact same HTML page, but with different CSS files. The difference in appearance is amazing.
Cheat Sheets
Web Design, Development, Marketing
This site has a bunch of 1-page web related cheat sheets (e.g., HTML, CSS)
This site has a series of tutorials on various net applications.
Web Site Description
XML Tutorial
This is a nice tutorial about XML. There are lots of them out there, so if you don't like it, try another.
XML Home Page
This site has everything you wanted to know about XML but were afraid to ask. It also has lots of stuff you didn't even know to ask about. :^)
XML Syntax Checking Program
This site contains a syntax checking program for XML. You supply a URL and you will see whether that site is XML compliant. This is handy even if you aren't writing XML code. You can use it to see if your HTML is well forms.
Web Site Description
News for Nerds. Stuff that matters.
This is a nice news site that specialized in topics of general interest to programmers. You can also read comments on the articles, as well as submit your own articles.
This is an open source encyclopedia that you can use to look up things, as well as contribute to articles you know something about. A lot of topics are available, including quite a bit on computer programming. If you look closely, you will fine a few articles where I contributed some content. You are encouraged to do the same.
OBP: Open Book Project
This site lists a number of free books online. If you are a beginning programmer (or pre-beginning programmer :^) check out "How to Think Like a Computer Scientist"
The Internet Public Library
This is an electronic version of your local public library.
This is the home page for such publications as PC Magazine, Computer Shopper, and Macworld. This site has a large selection of software downloads, including Palm Pilot software.
Hot Wired
This is the home site for the Web Monkey tutorial pages. It also has a number of articles on computer issues, especially Web related issues.
Alter Net
An alternative source of news and information. Think of it as the non-mainstream version of CNN.

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