Buying books

I’ve just received my books from Amazon. Given the discount they make and the current exchange rate between dollars and euros, I find it more comfortable and cheaper (even including the shipment fees) to buy them online. There is also a very good bookstore in Madrid which usually has the books I’m looking for, but they are more expensive, so I rarely buy there unless I want the book “now”.

My new books, with the mac.

My new books!

I already own a copy of the previous editions of Spring in Action and Hibernate in Action (er… Java Persistence with Hibernate) so I’ll probably just keep them near for reference (although the chapters on JPA and WebFlow look promising).

Then there is Design Patterns… my all-time favorite book since I used it during my faculty years. It’s not only the excellent content. The book itself is elegantly designed and it is just nice to browse. I always wanted a copy of this book and now I have it.

I also bought a couple of books about J2EE architecture: The study guide for the sun certification exam and the Architect’s Handbook.

After going through the self-evaluation questions, I find sun’s certification quite easy to pass after more than four years trolling with Java and other technologies. But I think it would have been easy even without so much experience, because almost all of the subjects where covered during my last year at the Computer Science Faculty in the University of A Coruña (thanks to my teacher Fernando Bellas, who also mentored my final year dissertation… we even published a couple of papers, one of them on the ACM Proceedings of the Thirteenth International World Wide Web Conference 2004).

By the way… someone at FIC should explain the students the huge difference it makes studying there compared to other faculties. I’ve recently taught an introduction to J2EE development for web applications (nothing fancy, only the basics on html/css/javascript, JSP/JSTL/Struts and JDBC) for people who have just graduated on Computer Science, and I was surprised by the little background students have on these technologies or anything related (like .NET).

But I digress… back to the books.

The last one, J2EE Architect’s Handbook looks promising. It begins with an explanation of the different roles in software development which spans several pages. This is great because with my background working on a small startup (where roles are fuzzy in the best case) and now in a consulting firm where your role is mostly a function of what your salary is, and not of what you do, I have all those roles a bit mixed up. The author is also quite pragmatic, explaining both the Rational Unified Process and Agile Development… and making a choice somewhere in between.

That’s what I’ve got after quickly browsing the first chapter, but I’ll write back once I finish the book.

By the way, if you’re interesting on those books… here is a link to my library.

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