Top ten IT books never to admit you haven't read

  • 5

    Danny Goodman Dynamic HTML : The Definitive Reference Second edition, 2002 If you discovered AJAX in 2004 with the launch of GMail, you must have skipped the Super Bowl stats application in this exhaustive HTML and JavaScript book. Today, you still need this exhaustive guide to browser quirks if you're serious about moving business apps to the Web.
  • 7

    Michael Lewis 2003 Even managers who weren't baseball fans devoured this book, for one simple reason: in the long run, IT is a recruiting contest, and most managers, in baseball as elsewhere, are missing some of the best hires because they're measuring the wrong stats.
  • 8

    Nicholas G. Carr Does IT Matter? 2004 Network World's John Fontana reported on IT vendors' reactions to this book, which points out how IT is no longer a point of competitive advantage for companies. Steve Ballmer called it "hogwash." Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina said Carr was "dead wrong." Keep this one in the drawer on top of your checkbook.
  • 6

    Jeffrey Zeldman Designing with Web Standards 2003 All that AJAX code would have done you no good if the pages you're dynamically populating were still 1990s Browser War monstrosities, or the kind of bare academic look that only a standards weenie could love. This book made clean markup beautiful.
  • 10

    Harry G. Frankfurt On Bullshit 2005 Understanding the principal product of the IT industry in 80 pages? Sign us up for that.
  • 4

    William R. Cheswick, Steven M. Bellovin and Aviel D. Rubin Firewalls and Internet Security 1994 Today, "we have a firewall" can be an excuse for all kinds of insane security decisions. But the fundamental idea of firewalls, and the detailed view that this book provided, was instrumental in helping the Internet change its personality from an R&D environment to a business tool that contributes to the top line.
  • 3

    Steve Maguire Writing Solid Code1993 This book introduced a generation of programmers to quality-boosting techniques such as assertions and defensive programming. As a bonus, you get the world's funniest cover tagline: "Microsoft's Techniques for Developing Bug-Free C Programs."
  • 9

    Thomas A. Limoncelli Time Management for System Administrators 2005 IT jobs eat people's lives. Here's how to set up the tools and habits that will keep your panic time low and get some time for important long-term projects and for yourself.
  • 2

    Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike The Unix Programming Environment 1984 We take scripting and markup languages for granted today, but back in 1984, these ideas were stuck in academic and research computing. Although Unix as such quickly collapsed into an incompatible, overpriced mess, the ideas in this book escaped and resurfaced in BSD, GNU and the Web.
  • 1

    Fred BrooksThe Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering1975 People started calling this the bible of software engineering, and 30 years after publication, the author agreed. "Everybody quotes it, some people read it, and a few people go by it." Even if you can't use the advice on how to build small, focused teams, this book will help you know how far in the weeds you really are.
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