Home > Blogs > Want a Happy Holiday? Spend it with Donald Knuth...

Traenk thinks back on all the great ideas and times he's had reading the excellent series, "The Art of Computer Programming."

I'm home now, burning up left over vacation time, getting ever-so-needed rest.

I don't know about you, but for me, rest means time to continue my research into all things Information Technology.  The Douwe Egberts Intense coffee (packed in Grimbergen, Belgium "Hallo Leever Freunden!") is hot; a great Sci-Fi is on Syfy channel; and I've got an exciting copy of Donald Knuth's great series open:  The Art of Computer Programming.

I'm in Volume One, and wow, is this great reading!  Pound for pound and line for line, I find D. Knuth's writing on data structures some of of the best I've read.  Of course, some would claim it is too sparse, too much needing charts, graphs and cartoon characters, maybe; but this series draws me back to days when we programmers had to Creatio ex Nihlio.  His prose reminds me of the very close ties to mathematics, making me envious of my buddy at work whose math degree and concentration gives him brilliant and unique security insights.

Your professional library will thank you later if you buy your own copy.  It may take multiple reads of important sections to understand, but each reading will be worth it.  For example, if you want to appreciate RDBS and SQL in greater depth, read about data structures.  You may even find it is good to implement a data structure in the place of an RDBS? 

I have the Third Edition.  Just mentioning I'm thinking of the upgrade to the Fourth had a few interested in buying my worn copy.  That's insane by IT book standards.  IT books tend to be as dated as the technology they represent.  Knuth avoided this by documented the basics in a limitless way.

Use the area below to note any wild disagreements you have with analysis of these great books.