Need advice from the computer programmers out there

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Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby tigel » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:53 pm

My best friend is graduating in a year with a bachelors in computer science. He lives 600 miles away so I never get to talk to him or see what type of coding he's working with. From what I know he's doing a lot with windows networking languages, and I guess just general database stuff. I want to get him a reference book that will make his life easier. Something that has vocab, coding, reference items, tips, etc... A "bible" for the computer science world you could say. Is there something out there that fits all or most of that? If not, is there "needed" books out there even on just a certain coding language that will benefit him? I have no clue since I'm more of an IT type guy than CS, so my "bible" is completely different than his.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby Timko » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:50 pm

If they're going to be a software engineer, a book like "Code Complete" is a great reference. I have a nice DB textbook from grad school; it covers the basics of most DBMS classes while going into some more complex subjects (like the theory of query optimization). A book like that will run you in the $100+ in new condition normally.

When it comes to the semantics of programming, I normally just look up something I don't know. I work in win32 C++ (god help me, I hate MFC), and spend the majority of my time on MSDN for reference.
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby tigel » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:18 am

Hmm if MSDN is your go to reference should i not bother with "code complete"? If so, what do you recommend that would be an alternative to benefiting a software programmer?
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby JohnnyB » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:02 am

reference material that helps at work is usually the same that helped him at school.
Maybe spring for a nice keyboard. Something with alot of macro keys.
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby tigel » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:37 am

he has a nice laptop already.
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby chiggins » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:33 am

Code Complete is an all-around good reference, it'll benefit a coder in just about any context. The Pragmatic Programmer has a lot of good general wisdom. I think Design Patterns (otherwise known as The Gang of Four Book) is good stuff for someone doing OO design, but not everyone's so into it.

For more context-specific stuff, the Windows folks will need to chime in, but if he's doing Windows DB work, I'm just guessing SQL Server will be involved?
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby BLURR » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:48 am

I have to agree with Furthur on the Code Complete. As an IT professional with about 15 years experience, it is a very fine read. I have lent out my copy to my coworkers and they agree.

The Pragmatic Programmer and Design Patterns are also both good books, but in my opinion, the Code Complete book is the best of the three. As for a reference manual in terms of code, there really is no one book to use. If you want a good database book(Microsoft SQL Server), I highly recommend anything by Ken Henderson or Joe Celko. These two authors have a vast knowledge in the SQL arena...especially Ken Henderson.
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby homebrew » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:18 am

It would be nice if WROX or APress had gift certificates for there books or online ebooks- then he could pick out something himself. I looked around, but didn't see anything like that.
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby Timko » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:19 am

tigel wrote:Hmm if MSDN is your go to reference should i not bother with "code complete"? If so, what do you recommend that would be an alternative to benefiting a software programmer?


Code Complete is a book on programming readable, digestible code. It's not unique to Microsoft or C++, even though it was initially written for both. Every programmer can learn a lot from that book. It's the only college textbook that's at my work desk, if that tells you something.
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby BLURR » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:47 am

One of my previous employers bought a copy for each and every developer when they started...even if you were a senior level developer. I still carry it with me. See...

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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby chiggins » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:38 am

BLURR wrote:I'm a big nerd if you didn't already know :wink:


I've heard that the SQL for Smarties stuff is good, high-nutrient reading too. Can you confirm? (Over.)
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby BLURR » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:50 am

Yes the SQL for smarties is very good stuff. In addition to the Tree's and Hierarchies book, I also have Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming and Joe Celko's Data, Measurements and Standards in SQL. While the Measurements book isn't for everybody, the Advanced SQL Programming is definitely a good one. Another good SQL book if you are looking is The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL by Ken Henderson.
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby Timko » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:01 am

BLURR wrote:The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL by Ken Henderson.


I've used that book before. It's solid.
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby tigel » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:42 pm

thanks for your help guys, I ordered code complete 2. I went to barnes and noble, AND borders and both the copies that had were ripped up, dented, etc etc. Luckily amazon had it 20 dollars cheap and free shipping.

Hopefully he will like it.
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Re: Need advice from the computer programmers out there

Postby Dig It » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:49 pm

BLURR wrote:One of my previous employers bought a copy for each and every developer when they started...even if you were a senior level developer. I still carry it with me. See...

Image

I'm a big nerd if you didn't already know :wink:

GOT ANY SQUATZ FOR DEM OATZ!?!??!?
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