Joe Celko’s SQL for Smarties

15 Feb

In the SQL database community, Joe Celko is a well-known columnist and purveyor of valuable insights. In Joe Celko’s SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming, he picks up where basic SQL training and experience leaves many database professionals and offers tips, techniques, and explanations that help readers extend their capabilities to top-tier SQL programming.

Although Celko denies that the book is about database theory, he nevertheless alludes to theory often to buttress his practical points. This title is not for novices, as the author points out. Instead, its intended audience is SQL programmers with at least a year’s experience. The book maintains a fine balance between technical discussion and practical explanation–picking hot topics and offering advice on a wide range of issues.

The book uses ANSI SQL-89 as its baseline standard, with some mention of SQL-92 features. It does not, however, focus on any commercial product; this guide zeroes in on the SQL language. Celko covers all aspects of database design, optimization, and manipulation, with easy-to-understand explanations of key issues such as why not to use too many nulls, how to use practical normalization, and how to optimize queries.

UML For The IT Business Analyst

9 Feb

Today, information-technology business analysts are often working on object-oriented (OO), Unified Modeling Language (UML) projects, yet they have a long way to go to exploit the technology beyond the adoption of use cases (just one part of the UML). This book explains how, as an IT business analyst, you can pull together all of the UML tools and fully utilize them during your IT project. Rather than approaching this topic theoretically, you will actually learn by doing: A case study takes you through the entire book, helping you to develop and validate the requirements for an IT system step by step. Whether you are a new IT business analyst; an experienced analyst, but new to the UML; a developer who is interested in expanding your role to encompass IT business-analysis activities; or any other professional tasked with requirements gathering or the modeling of the business domain on a project, you’ll be trained and mentored to work efficiently on UML projects in an easy-to-understand and visual manner. This new edition has been completely updated for UML 2.2, and includes coverage of all the relevant new BABOK 2 knowledge areas. The new edition also covers various lifecycle approaches (non-empirical, empirical, waterfall, iterative, and agile) and their impact on the way project steps are carried out.

Book review: A Whole New Mind

5 Dec

A whole new mind

The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic “right-brain” thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t. Drawing on research from around the world, Pink outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment-and reveals how to master them. A Whole New Mind takes readers to a daring new place, and a provocative and necessary new way of thinking about a future that’s already here.

Basic Design Principles

28 Nov

The Non-Designer's Design BookThe four basic design principles:

Contrast

I two items are not exactly the same, then make them different. Really different.

Our eyes like contrast.

Creating contrast is just fun.

Add contrast through your typeface choices, line thicknesses, colors, shapes, sizes, space, etc.

Don’t be a wimp.

Repetition

Repeat some aspect of the design throughout the entire page.

Being consistent.

Create repetition to enhance the design and the clarity of the information.

Be conscious  of the value of contrast.

Alignment

Nothing should be placed on the page arbitrarily. Every item should have a visual connection with something else on the page.

Avoid using more than one text alignment on the page.

Center is weak.

Proximity

Organize.

Group related items together.

Avoid too many separate elements on a page.

 

Typefaces

Make contrast with type, size, weight, form, structure, direction, and color.

Contrast heavy weights with light weights, not medium weights.

Warm colors come forward; cool colors recede. Experiment with the colors of black text.

Think more in terms of horizontal type versus tall, narrow columns of type, rather than type on a slant.

Caps versus lowercase is a contrast of form, as well as roman versus italic or script. Scripts and italics have similar forms-don’t combine them.

Don’t use all caps.

Never put two typefaces from the same category on the same page.

Never put two sans serif typefaces on the same page.

Combining sans serif with serif is a time-tested combination.

Name the problem, then you can create the solution. Find similarities-not the differences.

 

 

 

Social Intelligence

15 Nov

Social IntelligenceSocial Intelligence (SI) is the ability to get along well with others, and to get them to cooperate with you. Sometimes referred to simplistically as “people skills,” SI includes an awareness of situations and the social dynamics that govern them, and a knowledge of interaction styles and strategies that can help a person achieve his or her objectives in dealing with others. It also involves a certain amount of self-insight and a consciousness of one’s own perceptions and reaction patterns.

From the standpoint of interpersonal skills, Karl Albrecht classifies behavior toward others as falling somewhere on a spectrum between “toxic” effect and “nourishing” effect. Toxic behavior makes people feel devalued, angry, frustrated, guilty or otherwise inadequate. Nourishing behavior makes people feel valued, respected, affirmed, encouraged or competent. A continued pattern of toxic behavior indicates a low level of social intelligence – the inability to connect with people and influence them effectively. A continued pattern of nourishing behavior tends to make a person much more effective in dealing with others; nourishing behaviors are the indicators of high social intelligence.

The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook

26 Oct

Web applications are the front door to most organizations, exposing them to attacks that may disclose personal information, execute fraudulent transactions, or compromise ordinary users. This practical book has been completely updated and revised to discuss the latest step-by-step techniques for attacking and defending the range of ever-evolving web applications. You’ll explore the various new technologies employed in web applications that have appeared since the first edition and review the new attack techniques that have been developed, particularly in relation to the client side.

  • Reveals how to overcome the new technologies and techniques aimed at defending web applications against attacks that have appeared since the previous edition
  • Discusses new remoting frameworks, HTML5, cross-domain integration techniques, UI redress, framebusting, HTTP parameter pollution, hybrid file attacks, and more
  • Features a companion web site hosted by the authors that allows readers to try out the attacks described, gives answers to the questions that are posed at the end of each chapter, and provides a summarized methodology and checklist of tasks

Focusing on the areas of web application security where things have changed in recent years, this book is the most current resource on the critical topic of discovering, exploiting, and preventing web application security flaws.

Form, Context, Fit

14 Oct

The ultimate object of design is form.

The form is the solution to the problem.

The context defines the problem.

The form is a diagram of forces.

What does make design a problem in a real world case is that we are trying to make a diagram for forces whose field we do not understand.

Understanding the field of the context and inventing a form to fit it are really two aspects of the same process.

We are searching for some kind of harmony between two intangibles: a form which we have not yet designed, and a context which we cannot properly describe.

The measure of a design is how well it fits into the world around it.

In the unselfconscious culture the same form is made over and over again; in order to learn form-making, people need only learn to repeat a single familiar physical form.

In the selfconscious culture new purposes are occurring all the time.

A culture is unselfconscious if its form-making is learned informally, thorough imitation and correction.

A culture is selfconscious if its form-making is taught academically, according to explicit rules.

An unselfconscious culture made beautiful crafts by standing in the long tradition, and by making minor changes whenever something seemed to need improvement.

Here is the problem. We wish to design clearly conceived forms which are well adapted to some given context.

Finding the right design program for a given problem is the first phase of the design process. (The analytical phase of the process)

The starting point of analysis is the requirement. The end product of analysis is a program, which is a tree of sets of requirements.

The starting point of synthesis is the diagram. The end product of synthesis is the realization of the problem.

The constructive diagram can describe the context, and it can describe the form.

The form’s basic organization is born precisely in the constructive diagrams which precede its design.

Review for Notes on the Synthesis of Form by by Christopher  Alexander


Presentation Zen

23 Sep

Presentation ZenPresentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert Garr Reynolds, creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the net — presentationzen.com — shares his experience in a provocative mix of illumination, inspiration, education, and guidance that will change the way you think about making presentations with PowerPoint or Keynote. Presentation Zen challenges the conventional wisdom of making “slide presentations” in today’s world and encourages you to think differently and more creatively about the preparation, design, and delivery of your presentations. Garr shares lessons and perspectives that draw upon practical advice from the fields of communication and business. Combining solid principles of design with the tenets of Zen simplicity, this book will help you along the path to simpler, more effective presentations.

Buy this book on Amazon.

StrengthsFinder 2.0

10 Jul

Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

Chances are, you don’t. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.

To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in 2001 which ignited a global conversation and helped millions to discover their top five talents.

In its latest national bestseller, StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more (see below for details). While you can read this book in one sitting, you’ll use it as a reference for decades.

Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself — and the world around you — forever.

Buy this book on Amazon

Anything You Want

7 Jul

Anything You Want by: Derek SiversDerek is the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. Just as important, perhaps more so–he is a phenomenal teacher. Whether detailing the fascinating rise of CDBaby, explaining catastrophic (but common) founder mistakes, or teaching me about relational databases in two minutes using analogies, he makes the complex simple. Moreover, he makes it all actionable.

If you want a true manifesto, a guidebook with clear signposts, and a fun ride you’ll return to again and again, you have it here in this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. –Tim Ferriss

Buy this book on Amazon