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Oracle PL/SQL & other database deep-dives

Unix / Linux

  • Introduction to Unix and Shell Programming - I tried and failed so many times to “get” Unix/Linux until I found this book.
    It gives great context to questions like “why so many variants?” and increases your patience with frustrating features of the operating system if you come from a point-and-click background with explanations like this:

    Almost all the Unix commands are cryptic. For example, cat stands for concatenation, ls stands for listing, and so on. Unix commands were developed to be cryptic because it was developed by researchers for researchers and the early computer systems were very slow which demanded more time for typing, editing, and executing long commands.”

  • 101 Bash Commands and Tips for Beginners to Experts
  • Basic Unix Commands


Object-Oriented Programming

  • Objects First with Java (PDF here) - it, and the “BlueJ” IDE it teaches with, were, I believe, written for middle schoolers. Like the Scratch programming language makes it easy to learn while loops and such, the beginning of this book (and doing its exercises in BlueJ) makes learning object-oriented programming much easier than it is through many other texts. That said, I got bored with it halfway through and switched to other Java books. Always meant to finish it out; never did.
  • The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript - a gentle transition if you were first trained in object-oriented programming

Data Structures



  • Handbook of Technical Writing - I read the 10th edition & enjoyed its spiral format. Read it particularly if you didn’t pick up everything in 9th-grade English class, or if you’re not a native speaker of American English.

General “how computers work”

  • Operating Systems Essentials
  • Structured Computer Organization - found this at a book giveaway right before I started formally studying programming. It’s all about how computers work at a low level. I read the 4th edition; can’t speak to any earlier editions. It’s up to 6th, now, so 4th would save you plenty of money, used.