As part of my professional development, I’ve created a list of books to read throughout the year, starting in June of 2011. This a review of the first one, called Programming Windows Azure by Siriram Krishnan. You can find my entire list of books I’m reading for my career here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/buckwoody/archive/2011/06/07/head-in-the-clouds-eyes-on-the-books.aspx
Why I Chose This Book:
As part of my learning style, I try to read multiple books about a single subject. I’ve found that at least 3 books are necessary to get the right amount of information to me. This is a “technical” work, meaning that it deals with technology and not business, writing or other facets of my career. I’ll have a mix of all of those as I read along.
I chose this work in addition to others I’ve read since it covers everything from an introduction to more advanced topics in a single book. It also has some practical examples of actually working with the product, particularly on storage. Although it’s dated, many examples normally translate. I also saw that it had pretty good reviews.
What I learned:
I learned a great deal about storage, and many useful code snippets. I do think that there could have been more of a focus on the application fabric - but of course that wasn’t as mature a feature when this book was written. I learned some great architecture examples, and in one section I learned more about encryption. In that example, however, I would rather have seen the examples go the other way - the book focused on moving data from on-premise to Azure storage in an encrypted fashion. Using the Application Fabric I would rather see sensitive data left in a hybrid fashion on premise, and connect to for the Azure application. Even so, the examples were very useful.
If you’re looking for a good “starter” Azure book, this is a good choice. I also recommend the last chapter as a quick read for a DBA, or Database Administrator. It’s not very long, but useful. Note that the limits described are incorrect - which is one of the dangers of reading a book about any cloud offering. The services offered are updated so quickly that the information is in constant danger of being “stale”. Even so, I found this a useful book, which I believe will help me work with Azure better.
I take notes as I read, calling that process “reading with a pencil”. I find that when I do that I pay attention better, and record some things that I need to know later. I’ll take these notes, categorize them into a OneNote notebook that I synchronize in my Live.com account, and that way I can search them from anywhere. I can even read them on the web, since the Live.com has a OneNote program built in. Note that these are the raw notes, so they might not make a lot of sense out of context - I include them here so you can watch my though process.