Chris Donnan : Programming – Brooklyn Style


2010 Reading… Still Mostly Science Fiction

  • Too Big To Fail – Andrew Ross Sorkin – good read, everyone read it
  • Several Dresden Files – Jim Butcher, bored
  • Out of the Dark - David Weber, good – 4 stars
  • Surface Detail – Ian M Banks, abandoned – wanted to lik eit
  • Towers Of Midnight - Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, FANTASTIC!
  • Ship of Destiny  - Robin Hobb, great – 5 star
  • Dragon Keeper  - Robin Hobb, OK, 3.5 stars maybe
  • Citadel -John Ringo, Pretty good – 4 star
  • The Hidden Reality  - Brian Greene, eh, hard read, but interesting, very abstract
  • The Goal – Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeff Cox, good, classic
  • Influencer – Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, great read
  • A Mighty Fortress -David Weber, 3.5 stars – OK
  • The Farseer: Assassin’s Apprentice  - Robin Hobb, great book/ series
  • The Red Wolf Conspiracy - Robert V. S. Redick, eh – 3 star
  • The Blade Itself  - Joe Abercrombie, 3.5 stars
  • The Desert Spear  - Peter V. Brett, people love this series – i say - marginal…
  • Assassin’s Quest  - Robin Hobb, great book
  • Poison Study-  Maria V. Snyder, abandoned – boring
  • The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson, Love the Author – book – not his best but OK-ish
  • Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie, OK, 3.5 stars
  • The Black Prism - Brent Weeks, OK 3.5 stars
  • Mad Ship - Robin Hobb, great – 5 star
  • Ship of Magic  - Robin Hobb, great -5 star
  • Pathfinder - Orson Scott Card, OK enough – 3.5 star
  • Stormwarden - Jenny Wurts, abandoned
  • The Lost Gate - Orson Scott Card, Pretty good – maybe 4 star
  • Live Free or Die - John Ringo, good solid 4 star

* These were ALL on Audible – audio books… a ton of the ‘quality’ indicator will have to go to the reader.

Filed under: books — chrisdrop @ 07:51


Algorithmic Trading and DMA Book

Several weeks back I got a message from Barry Johnson marketing his book on algo trading. Since I have a book buying problem and I generally have all books related to trading, especially automated trading – I went and ordered it.

The book; Algorithmic Trading and DMA is a good overview of what the title says it is about. Since people are often asking me for reading material – I have lately been referring people to this book. All in all – if you are at all interested in these things; get it.

Filed under: algorithmic trading,books — chrisdrop @ 21:54


My 2009 Mostly Science Fiction Reading

So – 2009 was a great year for my continued sci-fi “reading”. I actually read perpetually – and the actual reading that I do is usually of the technical sort (quant finance, trading, software, teams, leadership, etc.). In the walking commute and during my daily running – I listen to audio books – quite a lot of them actually. I have been listening to audio books for maybe 5 or 6 years now and it is something that I really enjoy.

So – here are the audio books that I “read” this year in my order of preference:

Scott Lynch – The Lies of Locke Lamora (amazing – I love this book – can’t wait for the next ones – best book of the year!)

Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson - The Gathering Storm (Love it – can’t wait for the rest)

Patrick Rothfuss – The Name of the Wind (great 1st effort – I hope the rest is as good when it comes)

Brent Weeks – Night Angel Trilogy (fantastic series – fantastic magic thieves/ heros run amuck )

  • The Way of Shadows
  • Shadow’s Edge
  • Beyond the Shadows

Brandon Sanderson – Mistborn (amazing series, sci-fi at its best)

  • The Hero of Ages
  • The Well of Ascension
  • The Final Empire

Jim Butcher - Codex Alera (great series)

  • Furies of Calderon
  • Academ’s Fury
  • Captain’s Fury
  • Cursor’s Fury
  • Princeps’ Fury
  • First Lord’s Fury

David Anthony Durham -The Other Land (great continuation)

David Weber – By Heresies Distressed (a great continuation)

Brandon Sanderson - Elantris (good – less than Mistborn by far)

Malcolm Gladwell - Outliers (good – non-fiction!)

Brandon Sanderson -Warbreaker

Richard K. Morgan - The Steel Remains (mediocre – I prefer Kovacs)

Neal Stephenson – Anathem (too long and self indulgent – but OK)

John Steakley - Armor – (just mediocre semi-interesting)

Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games (finished it – but it was an error – too teen aged girlie!)

David Weber – On Basilisk Station (could not finish it – too mediocre)

David Eddings – Guardians of the West (worst book – I could not stomach it and quit it)

Filed under: books — chrisdrop @ 11:49


Refactoring in Large Software Projects: Performing Complex Restructurings Successfully

I have been reading: Refactoring in Large Software Projects: Performing Complex Restructurings Successfully. Along with the WELC book, an excellent book for the REALITY of day to day programming. How do we continue to write testable code, have emergent architecture, manage complex software day to day…

The RLSP:PCRS book (fun with/ death by acronym) book has a GREAT listing. The original list for me was the “robert martin list”, then – core developer values, I needed to add TDA and a few others. I never put as nice and complete actual list as the book contains … the list is:

DRY – Don’t Repeat Yourself

SCP – Speaking Code Principle

OCP – Open Closed Principle

LSP – Liskov Substitution Principle

DIP -Dependency Inversion Principle

ISP – Interface Segregation Principle

REP -Reuse/ Release Equivalency Principle

CRP – Common Reuse Principle

CCP -Common Closure Principle

ADP -Acyclic Dependencies Principle

SDP – Stable Dependencies Principle

SAP – Stable Abstractions Principle

TDA – Tell Don’t Ask (LOD mentioned as well)

SOC - Separation of Concerns

Maybe I will embellish, but you can certainly google ALL of these – THESE are the code developer principles of of good OO software development IMHO.

Go – read – enjoy



Filed under: books,programming — chrisdrop @ 20:16


More reading – via Safari

Well – I am doing the Safari Subscription thing….. I am an info addict. Audible subscription, Safari subscription, magazines, more books …. AAAHHH. Love it.  Safari is pretty cool so far. Since I tend to read so much – this should make the bill a bit lower in general. I usually get my books from the marketplace for used books. This is a great cheaper mechanism than buying the books ‘brand new’. I still DO buy them brand new if the price is close etc, but – this on line bit with Safari works well for me.
Parallel and Distributed Programming Using C++

Great – unix-centric book on multi-threading, interprocess communication/ synchronization, etc. Also good coverage of MPI and distributed computing stuff. Like it lots – good book.


I am not sold on this book yet. I will let you know when I have been through it. It is not that it is ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ but I do not see anything novel yet.

Windows System Programming Third Edition

I just want to dig deeper and deeper into my (what I would humbly consider to be vast) knowledge of windows internals.  So far so good.
Mastering Algorithms with C

I have done my best to advise MANY of my friends, collegues, peers etc in the programming world about ‘how to get a better job’. Inevitably – knowing about datastructures, Big-O style notation, algorithms, etc comes up. I have given weaker references to ‘a good book on those topics’ in the past. Now – I will refer people to this book :) This is really a great book with pretty pics to help understand those topics. Even if you already understand those topics – it is still a well written book that talks about issues with different implementations of things like hashtables, trees, etc. Highly recommended!

Filed under: books,C++,programming — chrisdrop @ 03:17


db4o book … and a few others

Books books books books….

The folks @ db4o were kind enough to send me a copy of the new book “The Definitive Guide to db4o” today. A few months back I filled out some survey for them – lo and behold – free book :) Since i am a book junkie – this is of course pleasing. I have been talking about db4o for some time now – cool technology! My 1st quick flip was good – we’ll see how insightful the books is. 1 thing I can say so far is that I love that the software is for java and .net – so is the book.

I have also been trying to get around to reading “My Life as a Quant : Reflections on Physics and Finance”. After chatting with a collegue today about it – he was kind enough to lend it to me… Since I am on Wall St these days – and I know lots o quant folks, seems right up my alley. I am sort of a wanna-be-quant myself – just under-qualified :)

Since I am mentioning books – I also have this one on the way – C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4 I love linux, I love desktop apps (been doing desktop app frameworks for some time now). Need to get up to speed on KDE/ QT development. I am particularly interested in perusing alternative event routing/ event bus techniques and the slots/ signals is a different paradigm then how you skink the events cat in .net.

… and this one :) (I am a fan of Robert Martin – Author 1, and I have a son named Micah, Author 2 – had to get it). From the description:

Readers will come away from this book understanding:

  • Agile principles, and the fourteen practices of Extreme Programming
  • Spiking, splitting, velocity, and planning iterations and releases
  • Test driven development, test first design, and acceptance testing
  • Refactoring with unit testing
  • Pair programming
  • Agile design and design smells
  • The Single Responsibility Principle and the Open Closed Principle
  • The Liskov Substitution Principle and the Dependency Inversion Principle
  • The Interface Segregation Principle, and Separation through Delegation and Multiple Inheritance
  • The five types of UML diagrams and how to use them effectively
  • Object-oriented package design and design patterns
  • How to put all of this together for a real-world project

The emphasis is mine – the things that I talk about all the time – really – and the things that stood out to me. While I have been doing ALL this stuff for some time now – introducing it to new people/ places is still hard sometimes. This all sounds like potential angles and ways to explain wins of these techniques :)
Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C#

… the last one I have on the way is – Interface Oriented Design : With Patterns A portion of the description interested me … “You’ll learn by pragmatic example how to create effective designs composed of interfaces to objects, components and services.” I think I have read ALL the patterns/ practices books out there. There is not too much new under the sun in this space. That said – the fine points of composing a nice object model is still key and warrants discussion. People under and over use interfaces all too often. People also suffer from the pitfals of “infrastructure driven packaging” – and other poor componentization problems. Who knows – maybe this will be as good a read as the 1st prag prog book.

In case you cant tell – I REALLY value books, education … information. Believe it or not – I love all this stuff!


Filed under: books,programming — chrisdrop @ 04:05


New Reading

Here is my latest reading….

Since I do so much of this – framework design – I figured I would see what they have to say :)

Framework Design Guidelines : Conventions, Idioms, and Patterns for Reusable .NET Libraries


The author’s blog – Brad Abrams – he is on my current blog reading list.
Eric Evans Domain Driven Design is one of my all time favorite software books. I quote it to other developers and push the concepts in my day to day since my 1st read of it. I was excited to see this today – emailed to me – as a recommendation by Amazon (good job folks).
Applying Domain-Driven Design and Patterns : With Examples in C# and .NET

the author’s Blog

Also – I finished these recently – both are good in the interaction/ UI design space :

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How To Restore The Sanity 


This is a WONDERFUL book that lays clear the thinks you should be thinking about when doing interaction/ UI design.
The Design of Everyday Things

Go – get readin’!


Filed under: books,programming — chrisdrop @ 02:20


Pragmatic Programmers 10 Part interview

Here is a link that has all 10 parts of an interview with the Pragmatic Programmer guys. I refer to lots of these ideas all the time. So – go read this stuff – better – get and read the 1st book The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

Then get this one and read it: Ship it!: A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects

Then if you like Ruby – get these – Programming Ruby (2nd Edition) and Agile Web Development with Rails: A Pragmatic Guide

I guess I am a fan of thier work – lol.


Filed under: Agile Development,books,programming,ruby — chrisdrop @ 16:00


Books I have been reading

Beyond the C++ Standard Library : An Introduction to Boost
CLR via C#
Behind Closed Doors : Secrets of Great Management
Pragmatic Version Control Using Subversion
Java Threads (3rd edition includes the latest JDK’s stuff)
Ajax Patterns and Best Practices
Filed under: books,C++,coding,Software Project Management — chrisdrop @ 16:05


ObjectView Magazine

Via : Obie Fernandez (a thoughtworks-er). This magazine ObjectView – looks pretty darn cool.


Filed under: books,Magazines,programming — chrisdrop @ 19:57


Sci Fi Series ..

Well – Since I am an Audible addict… I figured I would post some of my listens…
Robert Jordan – Wheel of time series – (12 books so far – 1 left to come)

Kevin J. Anderson – Saga of Seven Suns (4 books so far – 1 soon, who knows how many more after)

Orson Scott Card – Ender Wiggin Saga, Enders Shadow Stuff (8 books)

Richard K Morgan – Takeshi Kovacs Novels – (3 books so far – who knows how many more)

There are plenty more – but these ~30 books could tie anyone up for a bit.


PS – I am aware that sci-fi books are for geeks :(

Filed under: books,non-techinical — chrisdrop @ 13:25


More reads….

Here is the latest reading list. I have had an interest in non- .net based clustering solutions. I have implemented some Grid stuff using Alchemi – but I want to extend into the linux HPC space now. The optimization work I have done in the past – as well as the machine learning would all benefit HUGE from cluster-ability.

As to Ruby on Rails. I just want to get the buz on Rails. I do not plan on doing any web work – esp with Rails – but I do like and use Ruby – so understanding the framework that is bringing Ruby to fame seems worthy.

Strong willed kids…. My 3.5 year old is awesome – really – brilliant, sweet, everything good. That being said – he pushes bounds to no end – so I got this book recommend to help my wife and I bear up and help him to have less conflict with us as I am sure he does not love that….

PS – I also ALWAYS am listening to something from and reading a few mags on the train – I will post audio books and mags soon.

I am an information input JUNKIE!!!


Building Clustered Linux Systems

Agile Web Development with Rails : A Pragmatic Guide

Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child

Filed under: books,Grid/ Clustering — chrisdrop @ 14:52
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