Disclaimers: This is not a new book, nor have I read it.  I have read reviews of it, and am recommending its concept here, but can’t honestly recommend the book, not having read it.  OK, that probably sounds awkward, but there you have it.

I found this review of the book The Art of War for Women: Sun Tzu’s Ancient Strategies and Wisdom for Winning at Work, which is a modern interpretation an application of the original The Ar Of War by Sun Tzu, now thousands of years old, yet still relevant.  The reason I am promoting this book’s view of the original work is simple: It points out that The Art Of War is not just relevant to war.  It is relevant in any situation where you are facing one or more parties with conflicting goals, or competing for the same resource.  It could be at work, or dating, or politics, or even dealing with your relatives.  It’s mostly about finding your strengths and the others’ weaknesses and using both to your advantage.  It’s about looking for things in your environment that can help you.  It’s about focus and balance.

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DZone is a community-driven website where software developers can post links to articles and reviews. There’s other great content there, but I want to focus on the huge collection of free reference cards they offer in PDF format.  Some of their recent titles are:

  • Agile Adoption: Reducing Cost
  • Effective Process Modeling with BPM & BPMN
  • Flex & Spring Integration
  • Apache Maven 2
  • Getting Started with Equinox and OSGi

The reason I like this concept so much because my specialty is having no specialty.  I have a very diverse set of skills.  But when you know so many languages and technologies that have a lot of common (Meet the new language, same as the old language), it’s great to have quick reference materials to refresh myself on the ins and outs of the hat I need to wear that day, or to an interview the next day.  The quality of the material is high, too.

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Microreview: Most Excellent!

I bought this book because I was working on some gnarly multithreading problems.  I was hoping to get up to speed on the wonderful new concurrency classes added in Java 1.5 to replace the boring old Thread class.  What I got was so much more.  It goes into great depth in:

  • Preventing thread data escaping (what happens in thread, stays in thread)
  • How to divide work among threads
  • Exactly why the New Hotness is better than the Old Stuff
  • The difference between the various implementations of the New Hotness

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