Summary: Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, collects a list of cool book recommendations.
Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. One of the things I constantly find myself doing is reading. I try to read a lot of different things, fiction, non-fiction, classic literature, and technical. I am always cycling back and reading technical books. I find that I need to know more these days, and I have less time to come up to speed on various topics.
Although my primary focus is on Windows PowerShell, I see the need to constantly be learning and reading about various technical topics. In this way, I guess I am a holistic Windows PowerShell scripter, something not entirely different than a holistic detective.
I do have a nearly unlimited need to read and learn new stuff, but I do not have an unlimited budget or unlimited time. Therefore, I do not want to waste my resources on useless books. So I reached out to various experts for recommendations of great non-PowerShell books that might be of interest to Windows PowerShell people. Here are the results:
Jim Christopher, Windows PowerShell MVP, suggests the following two books:
- For XPath: Essential XML Quick Reference: A Programmer’s Reference to XML, XPath, XSLT, XML Schema, SOAP, and More by Aaron Skonnard and Martin Gudgin
Dated, but by far the most used book on my shelf when it comes to XPath.
- For Regex: Mastering Regular Expressions by Jeffrey Friedl
Covers many languages, including the .NET flavor.
Chris Bellee, Microsoft PFE, and my good friend from Australia (also, literally the coolest person I know) sends the following recommendations:
- The C# Programming Yellow Book by Rob Miles
I learned a lot about the C# language and designing solutions.
- ASP.NET Web Deployment using Visual Studio Step-by-Step by Tom Dykstra
- Programming: Principles and Practice using C++ by Bjarne Stroutrup
An excellent introduction to computer science and C++.
- Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold
Beautifully describes the simplicity & complexity of a computer.
- The MVC / C# examples on MSDN were also invaluable when I was developing some web apps that were hosted on Azure Web Sites recently.
Mike Kline, Microsoft PFE, suggested the following books about Active Directory:
- Learn Active Directory Management in a Month of Lunches by Richard Siddaway
- Active Directory: Designing, Deploying, and Running Active Directory by Brian Desmond, Joe Richards, Robbie Allen, and Alistair Lowe-Norris
- Active Directory Cookbook by Brian Svidergol and Robbie Allen
Tom Nolan, Microsoft PFE, suggests the following books:
- Head First C# by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman
This is hands down the best book I can recommend for anyone wanting to dig into .NET who isn’t really a programmer type. It is also one of the best books for anyone who is a programmer type who appreciates visual/immersive learning and doesn’t know C# very well. I have read this book cover-to-cover and, even as a developer, I loved every bit of it.
- Programming Windows Store Apps with C# by Matthew Baxter-Reynolds and Iris Classon
I think this one is really good because a lot of people, when learning programming, want to learn things that apply to something they are interested in. App development is definitely high on a lot of peoples’ lists. I haven’t read this one cover-to-cover, but what I have paged through looks really good.
- Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Game Development by Adam Dawes
I think game programming is another place that really tends to spark the interest of many, so I would be remiss to not include this one. I have read a fair chunk of it.
- Beginning ASP.NET 4.5: in C# and VB by Imar Spaanjaars
Some folks would prefer to go the path of learning to develop websites, so this is probably the best beginner book I would put on the list. Also, really great for web developers lacking .NET experience.
- Professional C# 5.0 and .NET 4.5.1 by Christian Nagel, Jay Glynn, and Morgan Skinner
For anyone who has some experience and wants the serious dive into things, this is a great book. It will require a bit more general .NET experience than the others, and it will not be as forgiving introducing topics before diving in, but it has a lot of good information.
Yung Chou, Microsoft DPE, suggests:
- Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals by Mitch Tulloch
- Microsoft Virtual Academy has a ton of free e-books, which are available in PDF, EPub, and even MOBI format
Doug Finke, Windows PowerShell MVP, says this book is how he learned to search XML:
- XSLT Cookbook by Sal Mangano
Blain Barton, Microsoft IT pro evangelist, provided this list:
- Windows Server 2012 R2 Inside Out Volume 2: Services, Security, & Infrastructure by William Stanek
- Microsoft Office 365 Administration Inside Out by Anthony Puca, Julian Soh, and Marshall Copeland
Here are some books that I (the Scripting Guy) have found helpful:
- Essential XML Quick Reference: A Programmer’s Reference to XML, XPath, XSLT, XML Schema, SOAP, and More by Aaron Skonnard and Martin Gudgin
- Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell
- Microsoft SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Fundamentals (Developer Reference) by Itzik Ben-Gan
- Windows Internals, Part 1 and Windows Internals, Part 2 by Mark Russinovich, David Solomon, and Alex Ionescu
I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.
Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy