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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Good list of books you should read

A group of people/companies got together and created The SoftWare Engineering Body Of Knowledge or SWEBOK. It is basically a reference to software engineering covering everything from requirements to maintenance. There are chapters on all the stages of the software development life cycle.

A lot of that book is based on traditional, proven methodologies. A lot of what you see in Agile or eXtreme Programming environments is not well reflected in the SWEBOK. It is still a good starting point for anyone wanting to understand things like Testing or Software Quality Assurance.

The book is a list of known definitions and descriptions plus, and this is the important part, a reference to where the definition/description came from. It is the list of reference material at the back of each chapter which makes the SWEBOK most valuable. It is a great place to build a good library of books from.

When I started out in programming, I was self taught. I only knew things from trial and error or based on whatever books I could find in stores or the public library. Books like The Art Of Programming by Donald Knuth or even Algorithms by Robert Sedgwick were not available in computer stores. Once I found these books I started to realize how little I knew. To paraphrase Socrates, "I am smarter than most because I know I know nothing." Read the SWEBOK and you'll know just how much there is to know and hopefully you'll be able to realize how much more there is for you to learn.

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