The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Building Your Cube 

It's not until you move to a new job, or get assigned to a new client that you realize that there are certain things that you need in your office, or cube that makes you feel comfortable. For me, I always have to have certain books handy or I feel like I'm in the wrong place. What is strange, is that many of these books I never really need... yet if I don't have them, I feel out of place.

For instance, I always have to have a copy of Petzold. For those not familiar... Petzold as it is widely known, is actually "Programming Windows" or one of his later editions. It's the Win32 bible... yet I haven't programmed in straight Win32 API calls in years. Granted, I do crack it from time to time if I need to make an old API call, and want to feel good about what I'm doing. For that matter, I don't know the last time I actually cracked open my copy of Richter (officially known as "Advanced Windows")... yet there it is staring at me.

Another book I always have to have is Stroustrup. Bjarne Stroustrup is the creator of the C++ Programming Language, and wrote a book by the same name. It is the C++ Bible. I haven't written C++ in almost 2 years (having moved over to C# and .NET)... in fact at my current client I'm using VB.NET. Yet I seem to need Stroustrup on the shelf. I guess I'll always consider myself a C++ programmer at heart. It is the ruler by which I measure any other language.

Another strange thing that you'll find among the better programmers out there, especially the ones like me who collect books, is that we stop calling books by their titles. We simply refer to them by the author's name. It's a strange phenomena in technical writing. Many of the great technical authors will have many books... yet there will be one that they are most known for. That book becomes their name. Someone will come to me and ask... can I borrow your copy of Richter? He's written a lot since "Advanced Windows"... yet no matter how many great books he has... he'll always be known for that one.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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