Information Dashboard Design

This beautifully presented book focuses on how to present time critical information in as dense and easy to assimilate manner as possible on status dashboards.  The author evaluate many different types of visualisations and graphs commonly used for this purpose and comes to the conclusion that the common choices e.g. pie charts, rev counters, gauges, bright colours, lots of needless graphics are exactly what is not needed.

Many real world example dashboards are presented and critiqued and the author offers up his own dashboards as examples and the differences in information density and ease of assimilation are quite startling.  This book is recommended reading to anyone interested in presenting complex data effectively.

The Productive Programmer

This book is about the patterns of behaviour that can improve the productivity of programmers.  The book is split into two sections: the first is mechanics which focused on the tools and the second is section is Practice which is focused on the philosophy of productivity for programmers.

One of the best parts of this book is YAGNI: You Are Not Going to Need It.  This can be explained as only designing and implementing what you need right now as simply as possibly as great harm is done daily to software in the name of possibile future requirements.  I’d recommend this book to any and all programmers interested in improving their productivity.