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This Week’s Developer Reading List

A list of book releases compiled by Dr. Dobb’s to keep you up-to-date on software development tools and techniques.

Practical Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science Using Python
by Jennifer Campbell, Paul Gries, Jason Montojo, and Greg Wilson
This “back to basics” book on computer science uses real-world science problems as examples. Anyone who has taken a high school science class will be able to follow along as the book introduces the basics of programming, then goes on to show readers how to work with databases, download data from the web automatically, build graphical interfaces, and most importantly, how to think like a professional programmer. Topics covered include: basic elements of programming from arithmetic to loops and if statements.; using functions and modules to organize programs; using lists, sets, and dictionaries to organize data; designing algorithms systematically; debugging things when they go wrong; creating and querying databases; building graphical interfaces to make programs easier to use; and object-oriented programming and programming patterns.

The Blender GameKit, 2nd Edition
Edited by Carsten Wartmann
The Blender 3D content creation suite is one of the world’s most popular 3D design and rendering tools. But it’s also a fast and powerful animation suite with an integrated game engine that lets users build levels, characters, props, lighting, and game logic. This book helps artists and game developers get the most out of the Blender game engine.

The Data Access Handbook: Achieving Optimal Database Application Performance and Scalability
John Goodson and Rob Steward
Performance and scalability are more critical than ever in today’s enterprise database applications, and traditional database tuning isn’t nearly enough to solve the performance problems you are likely to see in those applications.  Nowadays, 75-95% of the time it takes to process a data request is typically spent in the database middleware. While several textbooks offer guidance on how to tune databases for optimal performance, The Data Access Handbook tackles performance issues outside the database. Coverage includes: understanding how each component of the database middleware can impact performance and scalability; writing database applications to reduce network traffic, limit disk I/O, optimize application-to-driver interaction and simplify queries -- including examples for ODBC, JDBC and ADO.NET; managing connections, transactions and SQL statement execution more efficiently; making the most of connection and statement pooling; writing good benchmarks to predict application’s performance; and systematically resolving performance problems -- including eight start-to-finish case study examples.

The Greening of IT: How Companies Can Make a Difference for the Environment
John Lamb
In this book, Lamb presents the business case for enterprises to improve the environmental performance of their IT organizations, and he covers every major issue companies will face along the way, including: internal organization; regulations; energy cost shifts; and utility rate incentives. He provides business-focused and practical information, including discussion of new products, services, and best practices for reducing data center energy consumption, and guidance on everything from measuring energy usage and optimizing data center energy use through virtualization. He concludes the book with detailed, green IT case studies -- including utilities, universities, and companies, worldwide. He also previews exciting emerging trends on the cutting-edge of green IT.

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