Six hot tech tomes to tuck into this summer

Unleash your inner bookworm and get your geek on at the same time with these top picks for your summer reading list, from the blockchain revolution to chaos monkeys.

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It’s been said that Canada has four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and construction.

The real point being, summer is short in this neck of the proverbial woods, a brief flirtation with warmer weather, longer daylight and fashions that aren’t made of Thinsulate.

We’ve got to squeeze the most out of summer while it’s here. For many of us, that includes catching up on some reading. Here are six hot tech tomes to tuck into for summer 2016. Unleash your inner bookworm and get your geek on at the same time. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Big Data and The Internet of Things: Enterprise Information Architecture for A New Age
By Robert Stackowiak, Art Licht, Venu Mantha and Louis Nagoode
Apress, April 2015

Full of practical, technical details to consider when designing your IT infrastructure to accommodate the explosive increase in data that’s headed to all enterprise networks, including data from sensors in everyday objects. Ties in tools for business intelligence, data warehousing, predictive analytics and data discovery. Yet it also stresses the importance of “defining a roadmap that aligns IT with line-of-business needs as a key early step.”

Foundations of Modern Networking: SDN, NFV, QoE, IoT
and Cloud
By William Stallings
Addison-Wesley Professiona, Nov. 2015

Okay, so 544 pages may not be light summer reading. Fortunately, the book is broken down to focus on each main topic in a separate chapter. Stallings knows his stuff, having authored more than 70 books on computer networking, architecture and security. In this one, he explains how each featured technology works, its architecture, potential challenges, security considerations and even career prospects.

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and the World
By Don and Alex Tapscott
Portfolio, May 2016

You know you’re in the big leagues when Steve Wozniak provides a blurb for your book. (For the record, The Woz proclaims it to be “spectacular” and “mind-blowing.”) Canadian Don Tapscott is the prolific publishing juggernaut behind previous bestsellers like Wikinomics. Here he teams up with son Alex to spell out how blockchain technology works and how it could change the world (as per the title), from securing financial transactions to voting.

Network Performance and Security: Testing and Analyzing Using Open Source and Low-Cost Tools
By Chris Chapman
Syngress, March 2016

You’ve probably got more than enough T-shirts, mugs and other swag from all those cybersecurity vendor pitches; here’s a no-pressure peek at what open source has to offer. Chapman, a former Apple engineer who blogs for the likes of DarkReading, makes the case that low cost doesn’t necessarily mean low quality when it comes to security. He lays out how to use publicly available tools to document IT assets, test for various threats, secure BYOD devices, and more.

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune and Survival in the Age
of Networks
By Joshua Cooper Ramo
Little, Brown & Co., May 2016

The title is a tad movie-of-the-week, but Ramo does put a unique spin on the concept of networks. Using the connectivity of computer networks as a focal point, he explores how the interconnectedness of people and data affects the rest of our lives in the context of other networks, from foreign policy to DNA mapping. Understanding how networks work, he argues, is the key to modern survival.

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley
By Antonio Garcia Marquez
Harper, June 2016

No summer would be complete without a juicy page-turner. This one has it all: deal-making, back-stabbing and name-dropping (Zuckerberg, Sandberg). After selling his startup to Twitter, Marquez went on to be hired — and fired — by Facebook. But who’s having the last laugh now? The New York Times calls this Silicon Valley memoir a realistic, laugh-out-loud account of “what it is actually like to be in the engine room of the startup economy.”

Sure, parts of this book are as deep as the shallow end of a swimming pool. But don’t feel too guilty about diving into this guilty pleasure. Isn’t that what summer’s for?

Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos

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