- Business Desktop Deployment 2007
- Windows Vista Hardware Assessment
- Windows Server 2003 Security Guide
- Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF)
- Windows XP Security Guide
- Malware Removal Starter Kit: How to Combat Malware Using Windows PE v1.0
- Windows Server System Reference Architecture
- Threats and Countermeasures Guide
- Data Encryption Toolkit for Mobile PCs
- Microsoft Identity and Access Management Series
- White papers, which dive into a single technology topic (technical periodicals would also be in this class).
- User guides, which provide detailed instruction about using or operating technology.
- Reference guides, which provide some details (like user guides) but provide additional details about a select technology.
- Curriculum guides, which provide the ins and outs of a topic area to help the reader become proficient with a specific technology. Often refer to user guides and reference guides.
As a member of the Solution Accelerators – Security and Compliance (SA-SC) team, I’d like to share an observation and ask for some feedback from our readers.
The current top 10 SAs (Solution Accelerators) are:
I think this list is a testament that security knowledge is highly sought after in our community of experts! However, the list includes a number of SAs that have been out for several years, on issues such as hardening Windows XP and Windows 2003. This poses a question: What makes these SAs valuable to you? Are there specific reading styles that make technical guidance better than others?
I think it’s fair to categorize technical libraries into the following broad categories:
(If you think I’ve omitted any categories, please let me know.)
To me, it seems that only a couple of categories in this list are really worth reading.
When I see technical documentation about a topic I’m interested in, it will end up on my shelf and receive very little attention if it’s more than a white paper and not referential. However, there are some gems in the wild.
Recently I’ve been spending some time learning PowerShell, and I came across a book that fits my definition of a white paper (good dive into technology) in a book and is also great reference material. What makes this book successful is its attention to providing good quality reference information while threading the material together with a clear intention of teaching a technology.
If you had to classify your best technical reading material, what criteria would you use, and why?
I’d love to hear back from you.
Oh BTW—the book I referred to was “Windows Powershell in Action” by Bruce Payette.