jQuery in Action, Second Edition

This book didn’t just teach me jQuery, it taught me JavaScript. Before reading the book (the first edition) I hated JavaScript. It was an annoyingly loose language with so many quirky differences between browsers that it was nearly unusable.

No longer.

jQuery fixes all those problems, and arguably makes JavaScript what JavaScript should have been in the first place. And this was the perfect book to unlock those possibilities for me. Especially useful was the appendix, “JavaScript that you need to know but might not!” that teaches the very powerful concept of closures.

This book should be required reading for anyone serious about web development.

The Goal and It’s Not Luck

The Goal and It’s Not Luck aren’t really books about about software development at all.

Both books are ostensibly business textbooks disguised as novels. What they really are is object lessons not in what to think, but how to think.

In The Goal, the reader learns the Theory of Constraints and how systems break down. In the book, these are manufacturing systems, but the lessons learned are easily applied to project management in software development.

In It’s Not Luck, which is the sequel to The Goal, the reader learns how to solve problems through the evaporating cloud method, which is centered around discovering the root assumptions behind decisions and attacking those assumptions. So many times in software development mistakes are made because “that’s the way it’s always been done” or “that’s the way it worked in the last version.” In order to arrive at the best solution, someone should attack that assumption and try to discover if there is a better alternative. It’s Not Luck challenges the reader to be that person.