Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Think Like a Programmer: An Introduction to Creative Problem Solving" By V. Anton Spraul, 1st Edition.

Now I know how to "Think Like a Programmer"

When I took my first programming class in college, we bypassed the need to have the mentality of a programmer and we dove right into actual programming on the first day.  This being said, I struggled in the class because I never programmed in my life before and to be honest, I didn't know what I was doing. If I had this book back then, I would have had a much easier time.

This book is intended for beginners that have some knowledge of programming.  The exercise codes are in C++.  The C++ exercises may seem intimidating if you are not familiar with C++ but the code is easy to follow so that you can understand the concept even if C++ isn't your native language.

What I liked about this book is that it sets a good foundation to get you to think outside of the box when programming.  For example, towards the beginning of the book there are fun little puzzles to slowly introduce you to how you would approach the puzzle and how you would use that knowledge when writing code.  Also, I like how the book breaks down the exercise codes in a way so that you can easily understand the individual steps needed to create the coding.

It would have been nice if there were exercises with a combination of arrays, pointers, classes, or recursions instead of focusing on each individual area.  Also, since this is intended for people fairly new to programming, it would have been beneficial if the book included additional sections for "if...else" and "while" statements.

The reason I am giving this book 4 stars is because I feel that there should have been more focus on the strategies for problem solving.  Overall this book is a good asset for beginner programmers to help them "Think Like a Programmer."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"The CSS3 Anthology: Take Your Sites To New Heights" By Rachel Andrew, 4th Edition.

A good book to reinforce your CSS3 knowledge

Do not use this book if you are new to the CSS3 world.  I would suggest this book for beginner web designers to experienced web designers.  Beginners would benefit from this book because of all the practical examples and problem/solution type scenarios.  For the more experienced, this book would be beneficial because it can provide as a refresher or give you an update on the current practices of CSS3.

What I liked about this book was that it was easy to follow and understand.  Almost every page has example codes and even provides screenshots for what they would look like on the browser.  You can also download the examples in the book at and follow along with the book.     

Although the book is informative, it can get a little dry.  The lack of color doesn’t help with getting your attention either.  Be ready to dive into a book that is completely technical.

Overall, this book is a good companion whether you are a beginner or an experienced web designer.

I give this book 5/5 stars.