It’s April and once again I went a whole month without blogging – not intentionally but lately work, extra tennis practice sessions with my son (who is out for Junior Varsity Tennis), and preparation for a new presentation this year at our company’s annual User Meeting has kept me more than busy.
But I did get 2 more books read that are worth mentioning….
First is a book that I am not sure I have mentioned before but is a must read by any software professional. I know I have mentioned before how the books that resonate the most for me are those I read and then find myself wanting to read again a year later.
Well, Dreaming In Code is one of those books, it was originally loaned to me at work when I saw it in a coworkers office, and then found myself borrowing it again last week – I really need to get on Amazon tonight and grab a used copy as I return this copy (again).
The tagline says it all……
TWO DOZEN PROGRAMMERS
THREE YEARS, 4732 BUGS
AND ONE QUEST FOR TRANSCENDENT SOFTWARE.
This book follows a team trying to create software that they think will change the way the world works – they have the backing of a multi-millionaire, grab the best talent they can, all of the perks of a startup in Silicon Valley and despite all of their education and experience, this book follows the train wreck that occurs – ironically the project starts with the leader, Mitch Kapor saying “this time will be different” and envisioning the perfect software created with the perfect methods that end up going down in flames bringing the readers down with them the entire way with a front row seat to the action. Half way thru the book, everyone catches themselves wondering how they can make so many of the well known software industry mistakes and yet, understanding how they went down that path.
One of my favorite lines in the book “any software system that cannot be completed by four or five people in a year can never be completed” [Brad – I firmly agree!]
The second book “DAX Formulas for PowerPivot – The Excel Pro’s Guide to Mastering DAX” – written by Rob Collie, he of PowerPivotPro.com fame.
I had been waiting for this book, and as one of his faithful blog readers, I pre-ordered and got my name into the credits at the back of the book – which he had done as a thank you for his early supporters – may be the only time I see my name in print – so that is cool to pick up his book at a Barnes & Noble and find your name at the back of a book – seeing the other people listed – I wish I had chosen a cool nickname though…probably the last time I see my name listed with Mr. Excel himself Bill Jelen, Donald Farmer, Stacia Misner, etc
But I like his book, I like his style of bringing you along in the examples, slowly letting you learn what pitfalls are possible along the way and then showing you how to learn the most from his experiences – excellent book and well worth the wait.
OK, so this book is for the PowerPivot-devotees out there but seriously, Dreaming In Code is a terrific read for anyone in the software industry – especially if you are a software developer – ought to be required reading as the author ties in all sorts of industry anecnotes, trivia into his real life tale.