A Geeks Guide2... Christmas - Part 1
Up to 40% off at Reg Books
GG2 Welcome to the first part of our trilogy of Christmas goodies. With St Nick expected to turn up in less than a month, those of you who have yet to get your act together for the holidays (much like us) are in for a treat. We’re offering up to 40 per cent off the list price on a host of books from programming to chocolate, from goddesses to the good Doctor himself. All will be revealed over the coming weeks…
Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
We start with a classic. First published in 1987, Peopleware asserts that the major issues of software development are human and not technical. Written for team leaders and managers, Peopleware is crammed with illustrative and amusing anecdotes while filled with enough wisdom to appeal to any one of your IT friends. Authors DeMarco and Lister use their experience in consultancy and management to provide straightforward advice and tips on a wide range of topics including how to loosen up formal methodologies, fighting corporate entropy and making it acceptable to be uninterruptible.
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
What have the invention of the wheel, Pompeii, the Wall Street Crash, Harry Potter and the internet got in common? Why are all forecasters con-artists? Why should you never run for a train or read a newspaper? The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb has been one of the best-sellers of 2008. It discusses the random occurrences that underline the lives of everyone and that even though the impact of such events can be huge and impossible to predict, we always try to rationalise them. Taleb encourages us to ignore the so called experts and shows us how to stop trying to predict everything and take advantage of life’s uncertainties.
The Cult of the Amateur
The Cult of the Amateur is Andrew Keen’s witty and provocative polemic against the rise of user-generated content. Dubbed the “Anti-Christ” of Silicon Valley, Keen asserts that the very anonymity that Web 2.0 offers calls into question the reliability of online information and allows sexual predators and identity thieves to roam free. No Luddite, Keen illustrates the consequences of blindly supporting a culture that endorses plagiarism and piracy and directs a scathing attack on the mad utopians of Web 2.0 and the wisdom of the crowd. The Cult of the Amateur argues that much of the content filling up YouTube, MySpace, and blogs is just an endless digital forest of mediocrity which left unconstrained can alter public debate and manipulate public opinion.
Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects
Waltzing with Bears explores the theory that in software development the greater the risk the greater the reward; that software companies that shy away from taking risks find themselves lagging behind the competition, and those who calculate the success of taking risks reap the benefits. There are always hazards in software projects and they should be there, but it is the way you manage and exploit them that is the key. Waltzing with Bears illustrates how to assess the dangers in software projects and how to alleviate them before they turn into project-killing problems.
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Why does everybody make irrational decisions? For example, why do those of us suffering from man-flu buy paracetamol costing £2.99 rather than 99p? Predictably Irrational is an intriguing and witty insight into the reason we commonly make these illogical choices and demonstrates how irrationality often supplants rational thought – a process that author Dan Ariely believes is embedded in the very structure of our minds. Blending everyday experiences with a series of illuminating human experiments, Ariely shows that we can make better decisions in business and our everyday lives if we just recognise the patterns behind our irrational behaviour.
Belching Out the Devil: Global Adventures with Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is one of the most recognised brands in the world. It is in our homes, workplaces and schools, it has been served in space and it is apparently Santa’s favourite drink. However, there is a dark side. Join the multi-talented comedian/political activist Mark Thomas in this provocative and witty investigation into the truth behind one of the planet’s biggest brands that provides insight into the stories and people that Coca-Cola would rather you not know about.
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