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Just a few of my favourite software development authors and their books...

Martin Fowler

  • Analysis Patterns Reusable Object Models
  • Patterns of Enterprise Architecture
    Excellent breakdown of the techniques and design patterns which have been evolving in the field of Enterprise Architecture development, since the late 90s.
  • UML Distilled 3rd Edition
    Great introduction to UML 2.0, and pragmatic as ever.

Probably my favourite author – I find his approach to Software Engineering very pragmatic, and the writing style is really clear and informal. Other authors can sometimes tend towards the arrogant, and maintain that their solutions be used in all circumstances. Fowler, on the other hand, is never afraid to say when there isn’t a clear and correct answer. Instead, he lets you into his thought-processes as he debates with himself what the right approach to solving a particular problem might be, and the trade-offs and compromises that have to be made all the time in software engineering. And you have to like a guy who manages to get cricket into his examples..

Steve McConnell

  • Code Complete (2nd Edition)
    The best guide to software construction out there, recently updated.
  • Rapid Development
    Packed with great advice and common sense about the software development lifecycle. No explicit mention of agile (a bit too old for that), but certainly has some hints and precursors.

Steve McConnell is probably the first author I read who woke me up to the fact that, as developers, we were not necessarily powerless to stop the poor practices endemic in the software industry. He writes as if he’s on a mission, and he’s certainly carried myself and many others along with him. Very highly recommended.

Jeffrey Richter

  • CLR via C# (updated version of Applied .NET Framework Programming)
  • Advanced Windows
King of the internals and low-level stuff in Windows, and now .NET - and master of multi-threading, concurrency, completion ports,... Everything is very rigorous, well explained, and in-depth. Not afraid to criticise the framework for any flaws that he finds. Essential reading for a .NET programmer.

Fritz Onion

  • Essential ASP.NET
    A very rigorous examination of the internals of ASP.NET.

I think Fritz Onion is best described as the Jeffrey Richter of ASP.NET.  Great blog too.


© 2006 Pete Beech