Friday, July 15, 2011

Danger: Blogger Who Reads!!!

Worry not, my Podcast grab bag will be going up later today, but since this is a blog mostly dedicated to what I at least hope will be based on education and re-education (the good kind, where we willingly learn new things, not the bad kind associated with Cold War era novels), I have decided to do some things to draw more attention to the books that I read and review. I once had an ambitious goal of reading and reviewing a technical book a week. I quickly came to the conclusion that was impossible, at least if I wanted to do the review or book any justice.

There are numerous areas where I draw attention to the books I'm interested in, am actively reading, or want to read. Unfortunately, the list seems to grow by the day, and the more books I find, the more books I learn about and want to do more with. This has led me to the practice of finding and requesting books that are still in development so that I can work with them before they are released. One company that does this very well, I feel, is Pragmatic Publishing.  The book that I am working through right now, and which is in Beta distribution, is "The Cucumber Book".

Cucumber is one of the more interesting ideas in testing that I've become directly involved in. It's not a panacea, but it is a way and a method to writing tests, and writing code for that matter, that focuses on the behavior of an application and testing to make sure that behavior is doing what it actually should be doing. The ideas behind Behavior Driven Development are very interesting, and as I am also working through The RSpec Book, (likewise from Pragmatic Publishing), I'm very curious to see how The Cucumber Book augments the information found in The RSpec Book.

Note, this is not a review... not yet, anyway. First, the book is not out yet, and is still being reviewed and formatted, thus it's like reviewing a restaurant while they are still doing the plumbing and hooking up the grills and ranges. Also, I don't review books until they are officially available to all, but I do like this format of Pragmatic Publishing to give access to those who are willing to buy the titles and have access as they are being written. Props for that :).

So my goal is to augment this site with more emphasis on the books reviewed to date, and make a listing and timetable for the books I've yet to review but want to. If you have titles that you think might be fitting (testing related, programming related, engineering related, scientific related, or heck, not related at all but you'd get a kick out of seeing me feature and review), let me know, and I'll see what I can add to my ever growing stack of titles :).

1 comment:

Phil said...

I know eaxctly what you're talking about ! Definitely interested in what you think of the Cucumber book, I've been thinking of getting it myself
Others on my wish list which might move to buying if you give them a good review are

Driving Technical Change: Why People on Your Team Don't Act on Good Ideas, and How to Convince Them They Should

Rails Test Prescriptions: Keeping Your Application Healthy

Software for Your Head