Still a place for books...
Like everyone else, if I need to know how use some little API, I google for the answer and then follow the links to stackoverflow. Yesterday my searches that took me there included an error regarding a missing Windows Identity Foundation DLL, how to do try/catch/finally in Powershell (just as you would’ve thought, by the way), and how to change the name of a Windows service (somewhat more obscure). In fact my google history for yesterday shows I visited SO 15 times that day with different queries.
Even so, there’s still a time for books. I’m going to be starting on the next-gen viewer for Apache Isis soon, and because it’s going to be written in AngularJS, I really think there’s no substitute for immersing oneself in a book to really get into the “mindset” of that technology.
The publishers that first cornered the market in technology-specific books (at least so far as my reading was concerned) was OReilly, and then a little later I became aware of Manning. Most recently though I’ve got into reading Packt Publishing, also doing an excellent job of delivering quality titles on specific technologies. When it comes to AngularJS, for example, I see that they have 4 books currently; enough to be getting on with! That compares to just one book on the topic from either O’Reilly or Manning.
Now I must admit that Packt do seem pretty strong on marketing, which leaves me torn. If I were being cynical, I tend to worry that strong marketing might cover up for a weakness in material. But as an author myself, I think I’d be appreciative that my publishing company was working hard to flog my wares! Whatever; Packt’s own surveys show almost 90% of readers are “very satisfied” with their books; that’s a pretty impressive statistic.
So why this puff piece about Packt? Well, they’ve just released their 2,000 book, and they’ve currently got a discount code which is basically a buy-one-get-one-free offer. So if you were after a book on technology X, definitely worth checking out.
Full disclosure: Oh, and yeah, I told you about their marketing department? So, apparently this post earns me an ebook or two for myself. Well, there’s a couple more of those AngularJS books I need to read, so if they help me write Isis’ next-gen viewer, then it’s for the greater good!