Book Review: Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications by Toby Segaran

Collective Intelligenge book

If you have not read this book yet, then you need to order it now. I was skeptical about the book because I thought it tries to cover too many topics, thus not going in depth about any of them. I was wrong.

Far from being a boring theoretical book on web development, this book contains a vast amount of useful information with easy-to-understand examples. The book covers the algorithms behind search rankings, online matchmaking, product recommendations and social bookmarking. The author walks you through the theory behind each algorithm and provides examples of how you can write one yourself. You don’t have to be an experienced programmer to understand this book.

The examples in the book are written in Python programming language. You don’t need to know Python before reading this book because the author will teach you. Python is a beautiful and easy-to-learn language. In fact after reading this book, I decided to dump PHP and learn Python instead.

I think this book is a must-read for people interested in data visualization. I was so inspired by the book that I ended up writing a small application that finds connections between movies on www.imdb.com.

So what are you waiting for? Go and get it.

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