(Yet Another) Recommendation for “The Pragmatic Programmer”

July 7, 2007

“The Pragmatic Programmer” : Andrew Hunt / David Thomas

The more I work as a mentor with junior developers, the more I quote parts of “The Pragmatic Programmer” to others.

The more I find myself quoting parts of the book to others, the more I find myself quoting it to myself as I maintain code and review project specifications.

Over time, for both myself and the people I mentor, I’ve noticed fewer of the book’s big no-nos creeping into projects as a result of such quoting and re-quoting. Very nice.

The books sub-title, “From journeyman to master”, is key to understanding its audience : the skilled, mid-level programmer who needs the occasional reminder of programming’s big don’ts, as in “The Evils of Duplication” (part of Chapter 2), or who needs a quick explanation of the strange “power of text” (chapter 4). The last part of the subtitle is important too, seasoned programmers do well to refresh themselves with a quick of read or re-read of a section.

The topics in the book cover (most) all the problems I’ve had myself while helping mentor junior programmers, and cover many of the problems I hear in stories of senior developer’s working with their teams. For a relatively short book, 300 pages of easy free-flowing prose, the book is surprisingly complete.

Good book. High recommended.

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