Reading Material

Over the years I’ve read my fair share of books on various aspects of computing from operating system design through to test driven development and for the last few years I’ve also been taking MOOC’s as I like the learning style. It occurred to me that I should probably keep a list so that I can see what I need to brush up on and what gaps I have to fill. For the most part this is going to be a list starting Summer 2015 but I might try and fill in some of the history if I get a chance to sit down and think about what I’ve read and when. I study a wide range of science based topics but I’ll try and keep this list focused on things that are relevant to the computing.


Statistics One – Princeton University

A reasonable introduction to statistics but with some flaws. Almost all the examples focused on sports that are played little outside the US (e.g. American Football and Baseball) and assumed a familiarity with the terms used in the games. This made the material difficult for people from other countries to understand. The course also advertised itself as requiring no prior programming knowledge but it relied heavily on R and only existing programmers could keep up. The course only ran once.


Calculus One – The Ohio State University (with Certificate)

I can say enough good things about this course it’s a fantastic introduction to advanced calculus. I’d wanted to study maths for years as I’d always felt I was missing out a deeper understanding of some problems. This course certainly made me think but the lecturer had such dedication to the course that I persevered and passed with flying colours.

Calculus Two: Sequences and Series – The Ohio State University (with Certificate)

A equally excellent follow on to the fantastic Calculus One course. This course introduces the learner to common sequences and series culminating with the Taylor series. As with Calculus One this course really makes you think but it’s well worth the effort.


HTML5 Game Development – Google (with Certificate)

An Udacity course on developing games using HTML5. I started taking this course more because I was interested in HTML5 rather than developing games but the focus is almost all on the canvas element. Some important work came along and I had to take a couple of month break from the course in the middle so perhaps I didn’t get as much out as I could have. Although it’s sold as a beginners course a good familiarity with JavaScript is needed realistically.

Intro to Hadoop and MapReduce – Cloudera

An Udacity course introducing Hadoop and MapReduce. Not bad as a first introduction to the subject (assuming you already know how to code) but far to short and general to be really useful – this course will give you enough information to know if you should be learning more.

Computer Networking – Georgia Tech

I took a course on networking while sitting my computing masters back in 2000 and found it fascinating. I sat this course because I needed to find out a bit more about software defined networking for an Open Stack project I was working on. The course wasn’t much use for my project but I did learn a lot about how the wider Internet works which was fascinating (a topic that wasn’t covered by my earlier networking course). I think you’d have to have a bit of knowledge about networking before sitting this course but there’s something for everyone here.

Intro to jQuery

A brief introduction to the jQuery library. The course is only a couple of hours long but it’s a good introduction to using jQuery. jQuery is a library I’ve been using for years but I’d never formally studied so I sat this course to quickly fill in any gaps I might have had. I’m glad to say there weren’t any real gaps but it was good to have a refresher anyway.

Intro to Ajax

This course is a natural follow in to the Intro to Ajax course and gives you a basic introduction to ajax. I use ajax all the time when developing websites but typically that usage is wrapped in several layers of JSF goodness (or is in badness?) so it was good to get a bit closer to the metal and use just jQuery.


The Analytics Edge – MITx (with Certificate)

A good introduction to all the main data analytics techniques using R. The course covers linear regression, logistic regression, CART, clustering, and data visualisation. One area that isn’t really covered is time series analysis which is a shame because that was one area I really wanted to learn something about.

Maven by Example – Sonatyle (on-going)

A book focusing on Maven written by Sonatype and available for free. The book focuses on a late release of Maven 2 but almost everything is relevant for Maven 3 as well. There are a number of mistakes in the examples but I’ve found nothing so far that would slow down a developer with a bit of experience. Generally well written with clear and concise example. Although I’ve been using Maven for years I’ve never formally studied it and I always felt I should in case I was missing something. As such I’m finding the book a little slow going but I’d say it was probably well paced for someone new to Maven.

Maven: The Complete Reference – Sonatype (soon)

A follow on book from Maven by Example written by Sonatype and available for free.

Java EE 7: Applying JPA to Stored Procedures – Oracle Learning Library

A short tutorial on adding stored procedures to the JavaDB. I wasn’t aware that JavaDB could accept stored procedures written in Java (I don’t tend to use the JavaDB much) so this was quite an interesting module.

TOGAF Seminar – Architecture in Agile Environments – Challenges and Solutions to Maximize Value

A short seminar on how to blend the best of agile with the best of enterprise architecture and to avoid agile silos forming in the business.

Java SE 8 Lambdas and Streams – Oracle MOOC (with certificate) – Ongoing

A MOOC delivered by Oracle (through the Oracle Learning Library) covering the two biggest new features of Java 8. For a free course from Oracle I was pleasantly surprised at how much depth it went into, I presume they really want developers to use the new features. To be fair to Oracle I’d already started moving code over to Java 8 but I hadn’t really started using lambdas or streams and I can now see plenty of uses for them so I suppose the course worked.

TOGAF Seminar – Enterprise Architecture for Decision Makers and Managers

A discussion of how to present EA to the decision makers in a company.


Supply Chain FundamentalsMITx – CTL.SC1x (with Certificate)

Part of the Supply Chain Micromasters Program.

Supply Chain Design – MITx – CTL.SC2x (with Certificate)

Part of the Supply Chain Micromasters Program.

Supply Chain Dynamics – MITx – CTL.SC3x (with Certificate)

Part of the Supply Chain Micromasters Program.


Supply Chain Analytics – MITx – CTL.SC0x (with Certificate)

Part of the Supply Chain Micromasters Program. Note, this course was sat out of order as it wasn’t originally offered when CTL.SC1x was first published.

Supply Chain Technology and Systems – MITx – CTL.SC4x (with Certificate)

Part of the Supply Chain Micromasters Program.

Pro Spring Boot by Felipe Gutierrez

A fairly good introduction to Spring Boot. It spends a lot of time at the start discussing things that aren’t very important like how to change the loading splash screen. There’s a lot of material to cover though so this was only every going to be a taster even at 350+ pages.

Learning Spring Boot (2nd Edition) by Greg L. Turnquist (ongoing)