Reviews by David Witherspoon

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Functional Thinking

Functional Thinking

Functional Programming using Java, Clojure and Scala

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Jun 28, 2013 David Witherspoon wrote: Functional Thinking: Functional Programming using Java, Clojure, and Scala by Neal Ford; O’Reilly Media
Overall if you are looking for an introduction into why functional programming has been and will continue to gain traction, this is a good collection of videos for you to watch. Keep in mind that this is more of an introduction and you cannot explain everything in under 4 hours of lecture. Full Review >

Spring Data

Spring Data

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On May 9, 2013 David Witherspoon wrote:
Full Review >

Shipping Greatness

Shipping Greatness

Practical lessons on building and launching outstanding software, learned on the job at Google and Amazon

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 1, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Must read on developing and shipping great software
Shipping Greatness Practical lessons on building and launching outstanding software, learned on the job at Google and Amazon by Chris Vander Mey is a must have for any team lead or software developer out there. Especially if you have not worked at one of these companies. Personally, I wish that I could have read this book at the beginning of my career, but its better late than never. This book covers a lot of great topics about shipping great software that you do not learn in any software engineering course and you might not experience at the companies that you work for. Not only does this book cover the many topics needed to ship great software, but it also goes into more soft skills types of topics like selecting a team, building a mission statement and overall strategy, measuring greatness by using metrics, how to be a great communicator, and more. I have been developing software for a long time and feel that I have developed good applications throughout my career. I think you always learn from your experiences and continue to improve on the overall process of building and shipping software. Full Review >

Learning JavaScript Design Patterns

Learning JavaScript Design Patterns

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Oct 4, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Great book for Design Patterns using JavaScript
"Learning JavaScript Design Patterns" by Addy Osmani provides a great explanation of how to apply well known design patterns using JavaScript. The author does an excellent job of the format of explaining how the design pattern works, the pros and cons of the design pattern, and provides specific code examples of implementing the algorithm. You could almost say that the book is close to a cookbook, but it provides even more details about how the design pattern works than a typical cookbook would. I would not recommend this for the beginner or novice JavaScript developer due to the fact that some of the implementations of the design patterns might be difficult to follow. If you are an experienced JavaScript developer, then this would be a great book to get if you are looking at applying well known design patterns to your everyday solutions to solving problems. Personally, I am a big fan of design patterns due to the fact that they are proven solutions to problems and are easily understood by other people that understand design patterns. I really enjoyed Chapter 12 that explained design patterns in jQuery. Full Review >

Hilary Mason: Advanced Machine Learning

Hilary Mason: Advanced Machine Learning

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On Sep 4, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Cool ML Algorithms, needs more depth
Advanced Machine Learning video collection is a quick presentation of some machine learning techniques and algorithms covered in just over 2 hours. Even though this is a short period to try and cover any of the many algorithms in machine learning, there is a chance that you might learn something. If you are an experienced in the many topics of machine learning, then you will know that you cannot cover anything in enough detail in 2 hours and therefore this would not be helpful to you. If you are fairly new to the topic, then you might learn a little bit about interesting algorithms, but if you expectation is that you will be able to directly apply them or be able to explain them to co-workers then you will have to dive deeper somewhere else. There were some interesting algorithms that were covered that I had not worked with like Bloom Filter, Simhashing, and Hamming Distance. Hilary explains these algorithms through examples written in Python and utilizing libraries that have implemented these algorithms. The problem is that she does not go into enough detail that you will be able to implement them in another language, therefore you will need to research them to get a better understanding. I did enjoy the advice that she gave about becoming a better data analyst is to watch and talk with other data analyst to see the tools that they use and the approaches that they take. If you take that approach to what she is presenting here, then you will learn some new topics to apply to data mining with the caveat that you will need to spend time researching to better understand the details of the algorithms. Personally I would have enjoyed learning more details about the random forest decision tress and on dimensionality reduction. Since Hilary has the opportunity to create a collection of videos on advanced machine learning, she had the opportunity to dive a bit deeper on the different algorithms and the different situations you can apply them. She could have also taken the time to explain the results that are presented after running the algorithms. Full Review >

Just Spring Data Access

Just Spring Data Access

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Aug 29, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Good introduction to data acess using Spring
Just Spring Data Access by Madhusudhan Konda is a quick overview of how to utilize data access within the Spring framework. The author states that his objective with this book is to provide a direct, no fluff, explanation of how to use Springs framework to interact with JDBC, Hibernate, JPA, and JDO. I do feel that the author has achieved this goal and if you are looking for a book that can quickly introduce to you the basics of working with accessing data using the Spring framework, then this book is for you. The caveat that I have with that statement is the fact that in the 78 pages the author is only able to cover JDBC, Hibernate, JPA, and JDO at a high level and if you are looking for something with depth, then this is not the book for you. Again, if you are looking for a quick introduction to the concepts and are happy to investigate further when you have questions, then this book will provide that quick introduction for you. Personally, that is how I approached this book, since I did not have any background with Spring Data Access and wanted to know more about it. When I started reading this book, I knew that I would not get the depth that I wanted but I did come out of it knowing how to get up and going with a good understanding of what is going on. Full Review >

Getting Started with D3

Getting Started with D3

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Aug 22, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Good introduction to D3
Getting Started with D3 by Mike Dewar is a great introduction to get you up and going really quickly. Just as the title of the book implies, and also stated by the author, the intent of the book is to provide an introduction to the basic functionality of D3 and is not a complete reference of D3. The author does a great job of walking you through examples that will get you presenting data using Bar Charts, Histogram, and Graphs within a web page. The book is a very quick read with only 70 pages to get you an introduction to how to use D3. I feel that the author has done a good job with the limited number of pages to be able to demonstrate some of the basic capabilities that D3 has and how things work. Full Review >

Strata Conference Santa Clara 2012: Complete Video Compilation

Strata Conference Santa Clara 2012: Complete Video Compilation

The Business of Data

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Aug 9, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Excellent Conference on Big Data topics
The Strata Conference Making Data Work at Santa Clara 2012: Complete Video Compilation has to be the best collection of presentation that I have seen so far. If you are at all interested in Big Data, Machine Learning, Hadoop, R, and many more great topics covered throughout the 106 hours and 10 minutes that you get, then this is for you. You will not be disappointed and hopefully it will inspire you as it has me. Full Review >

Just Spring Integration

Just Spring Integration

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 3.0

On May 14, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Introduction to Spring Integration
Just Spring Integration written by Madhusudhan Konda provides a concise overview of the Spring Integration framework in 100 pages. The author covers many topics in regards to Spring Integration in only 100 pages and I was able to learn many things and can see the value of the framework. On the other hand, since there was only 100 pages there were a couple of times I felt that topics were covered too lightly and could have been covered in more depth. There were some topics towards the ends of the chapters that seemed to just have a definition and the author didn't go into enough detail on these topics. I fell that there is a good opportunity to provide more detailed examples of all the sections that are covered in the book and some of the corner cases that you need to think about when using an messaging framework. Therefore, if you are looking for a quick introduction to Spring Integration with the understanding that you will need to research some of these use case when creating a production system, then this book will help you out. Again, I knew nothing about Spring Integration before I read this book and after reading it I have a good understanding of what it provides and can see how it would benefit current and future applications. I just feel that I will need to research on my own to learn even more about the topic and feel that for the price of the book I should not have to be doing that right out of the gate. Therefore, if you are looking for a book that provides in depth coverage of all the topics within Spring Integration, then this is not the book for you. Full Review >

Machine Learning for Hackers

Machine Learning for Hackers

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On May 7, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Introduction to Machine Learning using R
If you are looking for a book that demonstrates machine learning concepts using the R language, then this is the book for you. Drew and John have written an excellent book on presenting machine learning concepts like classification, clustering, recommendation, network graphs, and SVMs to name a few. The authors do a great job of presenting how to apply these machine learning algorithms and explain the general concepts of the algorithms, which is the focus of the book. If you are looking for a book that provides an in depth coverage of machine learning algorithms, then this is not the book for you. In addition, the authors do provide some explanation of the R scripting language that they use throughout the book to apply the machine learning algorithms to different data sets. Full Review >

iOS 5 Programming Cookbook

iOS 5 Programming Cookbook

Solutions & Examples for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Apps

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Mar 23, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: iOS 5 Programming Cookbook by Vandad Nahavandipoor; O’Reilly Media
I am an experienced programmer in many languages and have been focused in Java for the past 14 years, but I am just beginning to learn and become more efficient in Objective-C. Reading this book has provided the resources to develop better phone apps and allowed me to look up… Full Review >

Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Making Native Apps with Standards-Based Web Tools

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Feb 17, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Great book on buiding mobile web apps and making them native Android apps
The book 'Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript' written by Jonathan Stark is a great way to develop web applications that look and feel like mobile applications and allow you the ability to deploy them to iPhone or Android. If you are tired of developing mobile applications in Java and iOS in order to get your applications on both Android and iPhone, then you might want to consider reading this book and understanding more about how you can write your applications using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and being able to deploy it to either platform. Jonathan has a great deal of knowledge and experience developing web applications and mobile applications and he provides a step by step explanation of how to develop a web app using jQTouch in order for it to look and feel like a mobile app. In addition, he provided detailed explanation on how to take the web app that you have developed and get it deployed as a native Android application using PhoneGap. There is an entire chapter dedicated to working with the native code with PhoneGap in order to interact with the phone's beep, vibrate, alert, geolocation, and accelerometer. This book provides a great introduction to developing web applications that look like mobile apps and being able to use the same code to deploy a native mobile app. If you are interested in developing your applications this way, then this book is a must read for you. Full Review >

McCullough and Berglund on Mastering Advanced Git

McCullough and Berglund on Mastering Advanced Git

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Feb 8, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Must have for anyone interested in Git
Mastering Advanced Git video presented by Matthew McCullough and Tim Berglund is a must watch for anyone that is working or looking to work with Git. Matthew and Tim present a lot of great information on how to take advantage of some advanced topics in Git in a very short amount of time. In this 4 hour collection of videos they cover important topics like Rerere, Pull Options, Push Options, Rebase, and more. These guys have a lot of experience in Git and present the information in a fun way by presenting questions and the answers to the questions. I was surprised at how much information that they were able to pack in and still have time to provide examples, demos, and answer questions from the live audience. If you are looking at using or currently using Git, this collection of videos is a must watch even though it is on the more advanced side. Full Review >

Understanding PaaS

Understanding PaaS

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Feb 2, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: Great overview of PaaS
Understanding PaaS by Michael McGrath provides a lot of great information related to Cloud Computing, Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). As you can tell by the title the focus is more on PaaS than the other two. Even though the book is short compared to most book covering a topic, it seems that the authors intent is to provide you some great information about the benefits of PaaS, provide some good examples on how to start experimenting with it, and what you need to think about when you are designing the architecture of an application to run in the Cloud. If you are a developer or manager looking for a quick introduction into the benefits and what you need to think about when creating application to run in the Cloud and dealing with organizations that provide PaaS capabilities, then this is the book for you. If you are expecting this book to provide complete details of everything to do with Cloud Computing and PaaS capabilities (which is not the intent of the book), then you should look for something else. I really enjoyed the chapters on Architecture that talked a lot about what you need to be thinking about and the examples that are provided. Full Review >

Android Open Conference 2011: Complete Video Compilation

Android Open Conference 2011: Complete Video Compilation

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Feb 1, 2012 David Witherspoon wrote: “Android Open Conference 2011: Complete Video Compilation” By O’Reilly
I enjoyed watching the Android Open Conference for 2011 by O’Reilly and learned a lot on all of the many topics that were covered throughout the 40 hours of presentations. After watching all of the presentations, I can see advantages and disadvantages to watching the collection of presentation instead of… Full Review >

What's New in Java 7?

What's New in Java 7?

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 2.0

On Nov 29, 2011 David Witherspoon wrote: Survey of some of the features in Java 7
What's New in Java 7 by Madhusudhan Konda provides a survey of some of the important updates and changes made in the Java 7 release. As the author states this is a survey and not a complete list of all updates and changes. The topics that are covered by the author are done well and provide great examples for the reader to follow. I hope that there might be additions made to this book that cover the other updates and changes that have been made in Java 7, for example Java SE 7 release now contains JAXP 1.4.5, some interesting changes have been made to security enhancements, important enhancement for multithreaded custom class loaders that were prone to deadlock has been fixed, and many others. In addition, not all of the examples are coded correctly, but you get understand what he is trying to say. Full Review >

Learning SPARQL

Learning SPARQL

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Nov 25, 2011 David Witherspoon wrote: Excellent book on SPARQL
I have been working with the Semantic Web for the past two years and I have read many book, forums, and specifications learning about the different component that make up the Semantic Web. I had always know that SPARQL would be similar to SQL due to the fact that they are both query languages, but I did not realize how powerful SPARQL queries could be and all the great functions that are provided in the language until reading Bob DuCharme book Learning SPARQL. It seemed that even with all of the experience that I had gained on creating SPARQL queries by reading web sits, forums, and specifications on SPARQL 1.1, I found so many great techniques and functions that I did not know SPARQL supported. The examples that are provided in the book are excellent and help solidify the query term and/or function that the author is presenting. Full Review >

Basic Sensors in iOS

Basic Sensors in iOS

Programming the Accelerometer, Gyroscope, and More

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Aug 20, 2011 David Witherspoon wrote: Must read introduction to working with sensors in iOS
Basic Sensors in iOS provides an introduction to interacting with the many hardware components included in the latest generation of iPhone and iPad. Alasdair covers how to develop applications that can interact with the video, audio, accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope. He provides detailed examples on how to interact with the API in order to get access to all of the motion information being provided by the hardware. The information provided in this book will allow anyone to enhance their existing applications or to inspire the development of new motion controlled applications. I would recommend this book to anyone starting in developing applications that want user interaction through the movement of the device. Being able to take advantage of capturing motion information opens up the doors for what type of applications that you can create and the type of user experience that can be provided within your application. Full Review >

Functional Programming for Java Developers

Functional Programming for Java Developers

Tools for Better Concurrency, Abstraction, and Agility

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Aug 13, 2011 David Witherspoon wrote: Great Introduction to Functional Programming
Functional Programming for Java Developers provides an introduction to Java developers that have been using Object Oriented development. The focus of this book is to provided some great examples of how to use Functional Programming and to get you excited about expanding your knowledge by looking into many of the references that are included at the end of the book. Dean did a great job providing examples throughout the book related to the topic of each chapter. In addition, he provides concise coverage of the topics and exercises at the end of each chapter to help enforce the topics that were just covered. Full Review >

Just Spring

Just Spring

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 4.0

On Aug 10, 2011 David Witherspoon wrote: Quick Introduction to Dependency Injection using Spring Framework
"Just Spring" covers the basics of the Spring Framework and applying dependency injection to software application development. In the book Madhusadhan covers Spring Beans, some advanced topics, Spring JMS, and Spring Data in a concise overview to get you up and running quickly using the Spring Framework. Other books are much longer and do go into a bit more detail, but if you are wanting to get introduced to the Spring Framework and apply it to your application development quickly then this is the book for you. Madhusadham is straight to the point on his discussions of the topics covered in the book and he provides example code that he explains in detail in order for you to be able to apply it quickly to your own applications. I would recommend this book to the person wanting to quickly understand how the Spring Framework and dependency injection can be applied to their future projects. Full Review >

Head First iPhone and iPad Development

Head First iPhone and iPad Development

A Learner's Guide to Creating Objective-C Applications for the iPhone and iPad

David's rating: StarStarStarStarStar 5.0

On Aug 3, 2011 David Witherspoon wrote: Excellent book and must read for iPhone and iPad development
Dan and Tracey provide an in-depth coverage of iPad and iPhone development using Objective-C and XCode 4. Their professional experience in these areas is captured within this book and I have a deeper understanding of iPad and iPhone development, Objective-C, and XCode. After going through the book and implementing the examples, I am able to develop my own application for both iPhone and iPad using XCode. I would recommend this to anyone that is wanting to get into developing apps for iPhone and/or iPad that has little to now experience with Objective-C and XCode. Full Review >

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