CSI2911 - Professional Practice in Computer Science

The books, articles and web sites listed here are NOT required reading for the course (you will not be tested on their content).

However, they are interesting and relevant and students are encouraged to read them.


John Batelle, The Search: How Google and its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed our Culture, 2005

One of the best books on the rise of Google, with excellent insights into the nature of both the technology and the business.


Po Bonson, The Nudist on the Late Shift, 1999

The rise of the Internet startup company and in particular the culture of Silicon Valley, chronicles dozens of startup companies and how they succeeded.


Steven Levy, Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government. 2004

A truly fascinating story of cryptography and its crucial role in Internet ecommerce, and the incredible battle that was fought against the US government to make the technology available.


M.Mitchell Waldrop, The Dream Machine, 2002

The story of the rise of the internet and personal computing traced from its roots in 1950s MIT, and the sponsorship of the Department of Defense through to its unleashing in Silicon Valley.  In particular the history of the computer as a social, communications device, not a computational device.


Zuboff , In the Age of the Smart Machine:  The Future of Work and Power, 1989

The classic analysis of what makes information technology tick by an acclaimed Harvard Anthropologist and the insight that the crucial power of the technology is NOT its ability to automate, but its ability to “infomate”.


Terry Winograd and Fernando Flores , Understanding Computers and Cognition:  A New Foundation for Design, 1987

At one point was named one of the 10 most important books in the history of the computing industry by BYTE magazine.  It is not an easy read, but it challenges the premise of AI and traditional approaches to building information systems drawing on arguments from philosophy (in particular the work of Heidegger) and biology (the work Of Maturana). Terry Winograd was the graduate supervisor of Larry Page and Sergei Brin when they developed the PageRank algorithm that became the basis for the launch of Google.  See also the paper (only accessible while logged in at uOttawa), What does it mean to understand language?




Ted Rogers: Canadian Visionary
The troubling science of how technology is rewiring kids’ brains: 


What happened to Brandon? (Video Game Addiction)



Google File Storage:






Mass Customization versus Mass Production:



The Fuss about Gmail and Privacy:



The Impact of Internet Pornography on Youth:



Mashup Sampling, Copyright and Fair Use:



Denis Rancourt and University of Ottawa: Everyone gets an A+:

Licensing Computer Scientists as Professional Engineers
UK Does it
Controversy in North America
This article from ACM Ubiquity in 2000, gives a good discussion of licensing and its relevance to computing.




Canadian Association of Information Technology Professionals:



Free and Open Source Software Learning Centre



Home of Psiphon:



Transparency in Government: