Monday, May 4, 2009

Programming Book Review Criteria

I don't read too many programming books and I don't usually finish the programming books I do try to read. I ended up getting sidetracked trying out the code and never finish the books. I know excuses, excuses... I also didn't have a programming book review criteria like I do for regular tech books. Chances are a programming book isn't going to bring anything "brand new" to the community or explain a brand new concept; its about programming in whatever language. So the following is what I came up with. I reserve the right to change it for future programming book reviews. I couldn't think of a way an easy way to grant stars so I guess I'll just wing it for the time being.

Programming Book Review Criteria

working ideas:

-how was the book written? easy to understand?

-what level is the book written to? Beginner, intermediate, expert?

-code correct? are there mistakes? do the examples work in real life?

-can you download the source code? does it have a companion site?

-does it have more than 2 pages in a row of code? I hate that!

-if the code is more than a snippet, is it documented?

-if the book uses external libraries (like ruby gems) are links to those libraries included in the book or companion site.

-did it leave me with a memorable way to remember the material?

-how is the font for the text of the book? too small, hard to read, distracting?

1 comment:

Ficti0n said...

haha I'm the same way with programming books... I read through about half of it and then get side tracked on a project involving that language and keep the book around for reference.... Thats a good set of criteria you listed for programming books... I would have added one thing.... I like it when there are small labs at the end of each chapter, nothing super hard or complicated but just something to mess with in order to force myself to use my brain beyond reading and understanding the examples, but rather apply the knowledge in a lab that's dueable without too much heartache to deter you...