There are plenty of good references for all sorts of Mathematica programming:
- This forum is a great example for specific questions/"getting things done".
- Books like those by R.Maeder (esp. the now ancient "Programming in Mathematica"), Ruskeepa, Tam, Trott, Wagner, Wellin, etc are all excellent at presenting stuff in a more organized, thorough fashion.
- The built-in WRI documentation can be quite good (but that's not the case here, in my opinion).
Most of these books were published before parallel tools were a prominent feature in Mathematica.
While Stackexchange answers are great for getting specific things done quickly (same goes for the Mathematica Cookbook), it's not in the spirit of this site to provide a bottom-up, textbook-like explanation of a relatively broad subject as this is.
There are several lists of Mathematica-related references and links - most notably here 18, but the few parallel computation topics therein are somewhat specific/narrow.
So the question is: do you know of books, or other well structured, thorough bottom-up discussions of parallel programming in Mathematica? Care to share your recommendations?