Reviews by Arthur Zubarev

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Flask Web Development

Flask Web Development

Developing Web Applications with Python

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jun 23, 2014 Arthur Zubarev wrote: A very promising framework explained by a skilled professional
I remember Miguel at one of the O’Reilly educational webcasts greeting the audience in three or four languages. Energetic, full of wisdom, creativity and warmth. How happy I was when I saw his forthcoming book available for review as part of the Reader Reviewer Program? Immensely! And my expectations were met: both Miguel and Flask ROCK! Written in a very professional manner, concise and at the same time with a feeling that the author is your friend, advocate and teacher. So Flask itself, seems relatively a newcomer to the Web 2.0 stage looks complete and mature with an active, long list of committers. My questions (including to the author) were answered in no time. A very good support. Cannot be happier about the product, both book and Flask. So more on the book: it will guide you through the bricks and mortar of Flask and how would you use it to build a fully working, yet modern Web 2.0 App. I used Ubuntu 14 without any difficulty. The book is extremely well organized, it feels like I attend a Web App craft shop of a kind. Gradually climbing the ropes of a powerful giant Flask. Python as a language is very welcoming, yet powerful at the same time, I hardly concentrated on its internals so no solid prior knowledge of any Python is really necessary. Again, Miguel is a skillful teacher, even the part of the book where there was database involvement was written so I felt completely detached from what exactly is my persistence layer, even toward the end when you are ready to deploy you do not feel overwhelmed by specifics, Miguel remains neutral and unbiased to 3rd party tools, I do not know how Miguel managed to convey such material this way. I am sure Flask is Web 3.0 compliant as well as armed and ready for any purpose. Very inspiring! I give this book 5 starts, 100 out of 100 wholeheartedly. Grab it even if you hesitate. Full Review >

An Introduction to d3.js: From Scattered to Scatterplot

An Introduction to d3.js: From Scattered to Scatterplot

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jun 4, 2014 Arthur Zubarev wrote: An Introduction to D3.js: From Scattered to Scatterplot Video by Scott Murray via O’Reilly Media Review
An Introduction to D3.js: From Scattered to Scatterplot video by Scott Murray goes into my favourite educational products list, pity GoodReads has no videos section. No wonder, Scott is an assistant professor at USF, and a code artist: just point your modern browser to his blog http://alignedleft.com! By the way, I happened to watch him presenting at one of the O’Reilly’s free webcasts on D3 and was impressed very much by Scott’s teaching abilities, the depth of technical knowledge and of course his data visualizations. To confess, to me, Scott represents the next generation of teachers: computer and technology savvy professionals who know a lot outside of one’s teaching domain. But OK, enough about my impressions, I am here to convey to my dear reader that this video product is superb. It was first I ever watched from O’Reilly frankly, but Scott and D3 both rock! More about the video course now, or let’s talk in general about educational videos: they are a great idea! Why we don’t have enough of them? So, this video with its runtime at almost 3 hours is one of the most effective ones that can put you on ice, quick, err… I meant plotting your visualizations. The course covers the very basics, initially, so no intimidation involved, it starts gently, after all Scott is not that kind of a swim teacher who throws one’s students into a rough ocean… well, despite the course involves a Mac and MAMP the video demonstrates techniques that will run on Windows 7 or newer and most Linux distributions. The only nuance – you have to run a modern browser, and it is reasonable demand for a JavaScript library which D3 is. The course gradually takes you above basics where you start feeling empowered, this happened to me at ‘Transitions’. One note to Scott: I would love to have more exercises after the advanced parts. Even more fun, and advanced techniques are covered toward the end as Scales and Axes, and it all ends like at Cirque DuSoleil with a fantastic loud boom: a very cool data visualization that no one would be ashamed of to boast with to a friend! And it was my favourite part, too. The course has very sensible sections, easy to download even to an older iPad or Android tablet, just relax and absorb the cool skills! I feel wanting sharing with you it made me itch to start visualizing data at work (and as a database pro I have plenty :-) and at home (if my wife does not retract her permission). I hope you get the same itch. Verdict: 5 out of 5 (can I give 10?). Disclaimer: I received this video free of charge as part of O’Reilly’s blogger reviewer program. Full Review >

MongoDB: The Definitive Guide

MongoDB: The Definitive Guide

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On May 26, 2014 Arthur Zubarev wrote: A very good companion for those to sail through the NoSQL waters
Who working in IT today never heard of Big Data or NoSQL moniker? Barely there are few. No wonder all the publishers emit books on this topic at a high rate. But then it puzzles the consumer, what book to choose? MongoDB: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition by Kristina Chodorow is my 2nd best read of year 2014. More on that later. But why MongoDB? The answer is simple, it seems to be the most widely adopted NoSQL store. Even if you do not regularly follow technical news articles be aware that MongoDB runs and supported on many platforms, from Linux of any flavour to Windows Azure (Cloud OS), it has recently joined forces with Cloudera to grow even further, and stronger. What actually makes MongoDB standing out of a crowd of probably 150 other NoSQL offerings? In my view this is for MongoDB having an easy to understand implementation, ease of sharding and scaling out, JSON/JavaScript powered queries familiar to Web-scale developers and it auto load-balancing. But users need to master it. This is especially true for such rapidly being developed product. So a book like this makes perfect sense to have (note: I am not affiliated with O'Reilly). So back to why I liked this book very much? It is due to a variety of reasons, but I list only the following three that influenced my opinion the most: 1) Reading it feels like this book becomes your technical friend, a guide or companion; 2) Even for a non-technical reader, or who is new to NoSQL data stores this book does not bring with it any steep learning curves, it submerges one into NoSQL craft gradually, and 3) Lastly, the book provides enough intricate insight into making one a MongoDB gate keeper, mature pro, or just a go-to guy. So, what will you learn? From basic shell commands to creating documents, from querying to performance tuning, then to replication and load balancing, recovering from peculiar situations, to finally preserving your data and ensuring integrity. I think this is enough to succeed, indeed at 400 pagers this is a brilliant 2nd edition by Kristina Chodorow! Full Review >

Mastering Perl

Mastering Perl

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Feb 27, 2014 Arthur Zubarev wrote: Mastering Perl, 2nd Edition by brian d foy, O’Reilly Media Book Review
What can be better than getting a book from a renowned author (of at least two other books), a Perl committer, contributor and a person who teaches it, too? Impossible to answer, impossible to beat. A few words on the raise and… I do not believe there is a fall of Perl, but you may disagree. Perl, even outside of the CGI programming, is still very much alive and… you can do a lot in it! I also see it as a powerful data, text manipulation and processing platform (built-in RegEx, not to speak of the power of CPAN). The book rocks, even thought I am almost new (I used to write quite a few short-liners in my life under Linux, but they were mostly for some subtle text processing) to Perl. The book does not limit you to exploring the subject as it is represented in the book. Even as you progress through, actually, the book has list of references to other books and supplementary material at the end of each chapter. The material covers numerous advanced topics from how would you debug a Perl program using various debuggers, profile it, clean to how to write your own modules and ultimately contribute to the success of the language. It’s fun and easy to read, has useful concrete examples and short enough code to comprehend. Full Review >

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jan 31, 2014 Arthur Zubarev wrote: t not be your 1st or may be 2nd book if you are new to JavaScript
A better name for this book would be JavaScript Bible, alas seems that this trademark name already belongs to another publisher: Wiley. Reading this book, well, made me feel exactly as reading the Bible: advance a little, go back, read slower, resume. Thing is, the amount of information thrown at you is overwhelming and thus begs to come back and revisit a chapter or two. Please do not take this wrongly, that is actually a good thing, this book supposed to be a hard read for those who are new to JavaScript: the King of the Scripting Languages for the Web which to my astonishment being attempted dethroned by Dart and possibly other contestants. It is a fact that the book is being revised (a big +) for the 6th time and republished, so 100% David sure knows his subject. Full Review >

Doing Data Science

Doing Data Science

Straight Talk from the Frontline

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jan 16, 2014 Arthur Zubarev wrote: Comprehensive Advice on What Approach to Use in Your Data Science Project
The best thing about this book is that in one single investment you get a comprehensive coverage for life on what approach or algorithm to use against a given data science task at hand. You must feel more secure after reading this book and as a result be more eager and ready to embark on any data science project. Full Review >

Job Reconnaissance

Job Reconnaissance

Using Hacking Skills to Win the Job Hunt Game

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Dec 8, 2013 Arthur Zubarev wrote: Un-conventional, fun to read, fast paced
Let me state right away – whoever did not read this book missed much...this book is a companion-like book about teaching you how to get a better job, will equip you with a wealth of tools, yet will allow you growing career-wise with it and it I trust remain relevant for a very long time. Full Review >

Python and HDF5

Python and HDF5

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 27, 2013 Arthur Zubarev wrote: An excellent technical read, concise, professional
This is an excellent book, written in a concise, professional manner. The author made sure the book is full of useful examples covering each nuance or an important feature so reading this book feels natural and logical. I am also glad the author devoted a significant effort to convey to a developer on the proper methods of concurrent programming, which is what a pity – a common omission in many beginners’ books. I am sure this book will make you going or will let you start coding against HDF5 in no time. I am sure this book will be used as a table reference (or on your computer desktop). Full Review >

Principles of Big Data

Principles of Big Data

Preparing, Sharing, and Analyzing Complex Information

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 4, 2013 Arthur Zubarev wrote: Fundamental, full of wisdom and advice yet thorough
A fantastic book! Must be part, if not yet, of the fundamentals of the Big Data as a field of science. Highly recommend to those who are into the Big Data practice. Yet, I confess this book is one of my best reads this year and for a number of reasons: The book is full of wisdom, intimate insight, historical facts and real life examples to how Big Data projects get conceived, operate and sadly, yes, sometimes die. But not only that, the book is most importantly is filled with valuable advice, accurate and even overwhelming amount of reference (from the positive side), and the author does not event stop there: there are numerous technical excerpts, links and examples allowing to quickly accomplish many daunting tasks or make you aware of what one needs to perform as a data practitioner (excuse my use of the word practitioner, I just did not find a better substitute to it to trying to reference all who face Big Data). Be aware that Jules Berman’s background is in medicine, naturally, this book discusses this subject a lot as it is very dear to the author’s heart I believe, this does not make this book any less significant however, quite the opposite, I trust if there is an area in science or practice where the biggest benefits can be ripped from Big Data projects it is indeed the medical science, let’s make Cancer history! On a personal note, for me as a database, BI professional it has helped to understand better the motives behind Big Data initiatives, their underwater rivers and high altitude winds that divert or propel them forward. Additionally, I was impressed by the depth and number of mining algorithms covered in it. I must tell this made me very curious and tempting to find out more about these indispensable attributes of Big Data so sure I will be trying stretching my wallet to acquire several books that go more in depth on several most popular of them. Full Review >

Python Cookbook

Python Cookbook

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Sep 17, 2013 Arthur Zubarev wrote: Worth every penny, a book to read again, and again
I am tempted to state right away that this book is one of these rare “gems”! Absolutely worth every penny spent and perhaps even more in a way of getting more done in less time or even just can be used to advance professionally. So big thank you to Alex Martelli and David Ascher! I can’t imagine how much time, energy, insight and effort the authors put into this book, but it is sure one of the longest professional books I have ever read. Like I said, this book is very comprehensive at 608 pages long and touches most, if not all, aspects a typical IT pro would deal with in his or her professional life. It may appear though very dry, and in my opinion it should be, but it is the book to come back to again and again, time after time, year after year, so if you need a single specific recipe, you will not feel the book is very short thanks to the way it is structured. Be informed though that this book is covering Python 3 and not the 2.7 which comes canned with most Linux distributions. I happen to actually use this book to cope with several assignments at work involving some medium to high complexity data processing for reporting purposes, thus more than a few recipes were used. Namely, these were “Strings and Text” Ch. 2, “Numbers, Dates and Times” Ch. 3, “Files and I/O” Ch. 4, then hopped to “Functions” Ch. 7, which followed by “Parsing, Modifying and Rewriting XML” Ch. 6.6 and finally landed on “Integrating with a Relational Database” Ch. 6.8. I wish though chapter 7 “Functions” would precede most others because I think it belongs right after “Iterators and generators” which I needed to use as I expanded my program. I must tell each did its magic, after all Python excels on processing text! The reading continued in a free-form manner thereafter. Now let me expand a little about my personal experience: it was the 2nd ebook reading on my newly acquired Samsung Galaxy 8 Note after reviewing a previous book and this time the experience on my mobile device using MoonReaderPro (that was updated to the latest version which supposed to take care of many bugs) just prior to using it unfortunately was not that great. Specifically the formatting aspect and namely the code portion of the ebook. I do not know who to blame but the code text appeared lost its line feed positions as well as syntax highlighting. Sadly, I was not able to complete the .mobi ebook on my tablet resorting to using Foxit on my old laptop. I still, nevertheless give this book the well deserved 5 out of 5 rating because it does deliver very well what was it has promised. Full Review >

Heroku: Up and Running

Heroku: Up and Running

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Aug 8, 2013 Arthur Zubarev wrote: Concise, Easy to read
Are you a mature web developer or just starting your dive into writing scalable Web 2.0/3.0 applications? Or may be you already have an application that is gaining popularity that makes you concerned about withstanding larger traffic? Or perhaps you are at the very beginning of your IT career stumbled onto a strangely sounding and geeky moniker? If any, or all of the above, look no further Neil and Richard’s book on Heroku: Up and Running. Indeed, it will quickly submerge you into the wonderful world of scalable IT operations and teach you a great deal of prudent, responsible, yet technically accurate usage of PaaS. Full Review >

Disruptive Possibilities: How Big Data Changes Everything

Disruptive Possibilities: How Big Data Changes Everything

Arthur's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Jul 12, 2013 Arthur Zubarev wrote: A good read for those embarking onto the Big Data journey
I am sure every IT pro, executive or about anyone who interfaces databases on a regular basis already heard of the Big Data term. However, despite is was arguably coined back in year 2000 the actual raise of the waive has just began. Jeffrey Needham’s book is exactly for those who are willing to ride or already on this wave. Jeffrey Needham will take you through a short history of Big Data and amaze with useful facts as well as sure set you right regarding the expectations starting from the implementation to running a Big Data enterprise. The journey will continue and expand into covering the aspects of acquiring, setting up and running a Big Data venture. Full Review >

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