Do you struggle to find out which Adobe Flex book is best for you? You’re not alone. Considering there are so many books in the market, such as Flex Bible, Flex Cookbook, and Flex for Dummies, it is hard to make your mind. The bottom line is, you don’t want to buy a book only dusting on your bookcase later. So in this post, I like to share with you five ways to pick up a right Adobe Flex book.
1. What do You Want
Just like a good tool is to help you do a specific job, a good book is to help you resolve your problem. You want to get the comprehensive understanding of Adobe Flex? You want to know how to call Java programs in Flex? Or you want to find out the popular frameworks of Flex? Each book may focus on specific areas. So your first job is to know what you want. Then you try to match it by reading the table of contents of the book.
2. Publish Date
Due to the fast changes of computer technologies, most of programming books have a short life span. Generally speaking, any computer books older than two years are obsolete. Considering the writing process usually takes about six months, you’d better select a book published within a year. For example, it is now August 2009, the ideal Flex book should be published after August 2008.
This might be the most important factor. Since we are using the same Flex SDK from Adobe, why don’t you just stick to Adobe’s official documents? Why do you need an extra Flex book? Because you want to know the unique insight, experience, and tips from the experts in different areas. And you want to see how they use the Flex technology to resolve the real life problems. Therefore, who is the author and what kind of background he has are even more important than the topics. Moreover, I especially like the book written by a group of people. It is mainly because, first you get more in-depth knowledge from gurus specialized in various topics; second, you usually get better quality of contents through the team collaboration.
4. Customer Reviews
Amazon.com is the best place to find out the related information of a book before you buy it. Except for the publish date and authors, I would pay particular attention to customer reviews. Usually, the more reviews a book gets, the better it is. Because it indicates that more people are interested in this book and willing to spend time giving their feedback. Moreover, if you have any specific needs or questions, you might get some ideas how this book will help you by reading those reviews.
5. Add-on Resources and Support
A good Flex book might be your guide to a new world. You’ll not only learn from the book but also get more values from add-on resources and the support. For example, it often comes with a website for you to download sample codes, post your questions, and connect with the authors. Remember the computer technologies are constantly progressing. So you may want to catch up with the experts and get the latest update.
What is My Topic Pick for Adobe Flex Book?
If you just want to get one Best Flex Book, I would highly recommend Professional Adobe Flex 3.
Give you a comprehensive while in depth understanding of the complete Adobe Flex landscape including: What is Flex, Why Flex, Flex Development Ecosystem, Components Usage and Customization, Data Management, Visual Effect & Multimedia, Client Communication, Server Integration, Data Service, Flex Framework, Development Strategies, Testing and Debugging.
Published on June 2, 2009 (the newest Flex book you can get now) by Wrox (famous for its Programmer to Programmer philosophy).
Written by a group of Flex gurus speciaized in various fields. e.g. Joseph Balderson (Seniro Flex and Flash Platform Consultant), Peter Ent (Computer Scientist in Adobe LiveCycle team), Tom Sugden (Technical Architect for Adobe Professional Services), Andrew Trice (Principal Flex and AIR Architect), and David Hassoun (Founder of RealEyes Media).
Great additional resources and support on wrox.com including sample codes, online library, latest update, and interaction with community members.
My only complaint about this book is its weight. With 1,426 pages, it weighs about 2kg. So it would be a good exercise for your wrist. Nevertheless, this book gives you the best ROI on both your time and money. You can Get Professional Adobe Flex 3 here.