I received four books yesterday that I’m looking forward to reading (or at least skimming). A benefactor sent me:

  • Python in a Nutshell, which I wanted after reading a rave review on Slashdot.
  • Java Cookbook: I already have the Perl Cookbook, and I really like this format. This will be particularly useful to me because most of my knowledge is wrapped up in Web stuff, and quick solutions to things like I/O issues that I don’t normally have to deal with will be quite handy.
  • C# Essentials. I really don’t much want to become a Microsoft developer, but learning other platforms makes you better at programming for your chosen platform, and I need to be able to discuss .NET intelligently anyway. The ability to at least wrap your brain around other platforms is one of those software engineering cultural literacy things, I think.
  • XSLT Cookbook. This was a special bonus. I should know more about XSLT than I do, anyway.

I’m still plowing through Mastering Enterprise JavaBeans, and I’m finding the book extremely helpful. If you’re a Java developer who hasn’t plunged into EJB yet, I recommend this book highly. Not only do I understand most of the EJB lingo now, but I am also confident that I have never worked on a project where I suffered because we did not go the EJB route. I was afraid I was missing out on something. In any case, if you want to get a job as a Java developer these days, understanding EJB is pretty much a key requirement, and this book will get you there in a hurry.

The other thing I need to work on next is building a good working relationship with UML. I can read UML diagrams pretty well, but I need to take my skills there to the next level, again from a skills development perspective. When someone reads my résumé, they’d expect that I’m good with UML, so I need to make that the case …