Issue No. 07 - July (2008 vol. 41)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2008.213
Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior, Tom DeMarco, Peter Hruschka, Tim Lister, Steve McMenamin, James Robertson, and Suzanne Robertson. Most IT project developers, testers, and managers can recognize patterns of behavior and gut-level hunches, as in, "I sense this project is headed for disaster." More difficult is transforming these patterns and hunches into usable form, something a team can debate, refine, and use. This book presents the patterns of behavior the authors most often observe at the dozens of IT firms they transform each year.
The result is a quick-read guide to identifying nearly 90 typical scenarios, drawing on a combined 150 years of project management experience. Project by project, they show how to improve the accuracy of readers' hunches and their ability to act on them. The patterns, presented in an easy-reference format, use names designed to ease communication among teammates. In just a few words, these techniques can describe what's happening on a project. Citing these patterns of behavior can help quickly move those across the organization to the project's next step.
Dorset House; www.dorsethouse.com; 978-0-932633-67-5; 248 pp.
Agile Adoption Patterns: A Roadmap to Organizational Success, Amr Elssamadisy. Agile methodologies promise to help create software that delivers far more business value faster, at lower cost, and with less pain. However, many organizations struggle with implementing agile methodologies and gaining their full benefits. Here, the author identifies the powerful lessons that have been learned about successfully moving to agile methods, distilling them into 30 proven "agile adoption patterns."
The book defines an optimal agile adoption strategy with case studies and hands-on exercises, systematically examining the most common obstacles and challenges to agile implementation and identifying proven solutions. Readers will learn where to start; how to choose the best agile practices for their business and technical environment; and how to adopt agility incrementally, building on steadily growing success.
Addison-Wesley Professional; www.awprofessional.com; 0-321-51452-1; 432 pp.
Crimeware: Understanding New Attacks and Defenses, Markus Jakobsson and Zulfikar Ramzan. A new breed of online predators—serious criminals intent on stealing big bucks and top-secret information—use as their weapons of choice a dangerous array of tools called crimeware. The ever-growing number of companies, organizations, and individuals turning to the Internet to get things done have an urgent need to understand and prevent these online threats.
This book can help security professionals, technical managers, students, and researchers understand and prevent specific crimeware threats. It guides readers through the essential security principles, techniques, and countermeasures to stay one step ahead of the criminals, regardless of evolving technology and tactics.
The chapters by seasoned contributors will help readers understand how crimeware works, how to identify it, and how to prevent future attacks before valuable information falls into the wrong hands. The self-contained chapters go into varying degrees of depth, providing a thorough overview of crimeware, including not only concepts prevalent in the wild, but also ideas that so far have been considered only inside the laboratory.
Addison-Wesley Professional; www.awprofessional.com; 0-321-50195-0; 608 pp.
Just Enough C/C++ Programming, Guy W. Lecky-Thompson. The C/C++ programming languages form the basis for many other programming languages and paradigms, and as such, using them is a vital, necessary skill for any IT professional. This book provides an intelligent layperson's guide to the subject, giving readers enough C/C++ language knowledge to complete practical, industry-related, programming projects without becoming sidetracked.
The book explains the tools needed, providing a concise introduction to the world of programming and explaining a C program's basic structure. It also covers the most relevant differences between C and C++, including C++ Standard Libraries, templates, and STL. The companion website includes usable sample code for download and key pointers on how to adapt the code for real-world use.
Thomson Course Technology; www.courseptr.com; 1-59863-468-2; 400 pp.
Data Visualization: Principles and Practice, Alexandru C. Telea. Data visualization seeks to use images to improve understanding of a dataset, drawing on techniques from mathematics, computer science, cognitive and perception science, and physics. The author provides a compact introduction to the field that helps readers learn about visualization techniques with material focusing on methods that have broad applicability in visualization applications, occur in most practical problems in various guises, and do not demand a specialized background to be understood.
A.K. Peters, Ltd.; www.akpeters.com; 978-1-56881-306-6; 460 pp.