Nothing induces a deep anesthetic coma faster than yet another discussion about what the field of biomedical informatics comprises and what are the expected competences. Ira Kalet has therefore done us all a favor by writing a book on Principles of Biomedical Informatics. This is not a book for those who primarily wish to approach medical informatics from the perspective of management, or policy or governance. It is a technical book that teaches by doing much in the vein of some other very successful texts. And in biomedical informatics, doing often means programming.