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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


What makes a good technical book 'good'?

This question came up StackOverflow.

I have an unenviable target of reading at least one technical book a month. I have enjoyed reading dozens of them. Here's what I think are the ingredients of the secret sauce that makes technical books great -
  1. They are written in plain-English
  2. They have a no-fluff, straight-forward tone & a conversational style
  3. They identify the audience in the beginning & meet the expectations they set
  4. They have some kind of takeaways you can benefit from - practical examples, re-usable code samples.
  5. Their content is well-organized & structured.
  6. Attention is paid to technical accuracy, grammar, layout & fonts used
  7. Illustrations, backgrounders & infoboxes are provided where required & important information is highlighted.
  8. The author is an expert on the topic and  isn't under the "curse of knowledge". A person contributing to the technical community (via online forums, meetups, source code donations, blog articles) would be more hands-on & therefore be a better teacher.

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