Programmers are craftspeople trained to use a certain set of tools (editors, object managers, version trackers) to generate a certain kind of product (programs) that will operate in some environment (operating systems on hardware assemblies). Like any other craft, computer programming has spawned a body of wisdom, most of which isn t taught at universities or in certification classes. Most programmers arrive at the so-called tricks of the trade over time, through independent experimentation. In The Pragmatic Programmer, Andrew Hunt and David Thomas codify many of the truths they ve discovered during their respective careers as designers of software and writers of code.
Some of the authors nuggets of pragmatism are concrete, and the path to their implementation is clear. They advise readers to learn one text editor, for example, and use it for everything. They also recommend the use of version-tracking software for even the smallest projects, and promote the merits of learning regular expression syntax and a text-manipulation language. Other (perhaps more valuable) advice is more light-hearted. In the debugging section, it is noted that, "if you see hoof prints think horses, not zebras." That is, suspect everything, but start looking for problems in the most obvious places. There are recommendations for making estimates of time and expense, and for integrating testing into the development process. You ll want a copy of The Pragmatic Programmer for two reasons: it displays your own accumulated wisdom more cleanly than you ever bothered to state it, and it introduces you to methods of work that you may not yet have considered. Working programmers will enjoy this book. --David Wall
Topics covered: A useful approach to software design and construction that allows for efficient, profitable development of high-quality products. Elements of the approach include specification development, customer relations, team management, design practices, development tools, and testing procedures. This approach is presented with the help of anecdotes and technical problems.
If I m putting together a project, it s the authors of this book that I want. . . . And failing that I d settle for people who ve read their book." -- Ward Cunningham
Straight from the programming trenches, The Pragmatic Programmer cuts through the increasing specialization and technicalities of modern software development to examine the core process--taking a requirement and producing working, maintainable code that delights its users. It covers topics ranging from personal responsibility and career development to architectural techniques for keeping your code flexible and easy to adapt and reuse. Read this book, and you ll learn how to
Fight software rot;
Avoid the trap of duplicating knowledge;
Write flexible, dynamic, and adaptable code;
Avoid programming by coincidence;
Bullet-proof your code with contracts, assertions, and exceptions;
Capture real requirements;
Test ruthlessly and effectively;
Delight your users;
Build teams of pragmatic programmers; and
Make your developments more precise with automation.
Written as a series of self-contained sections and filled with entertaining anecdotes, thoughtful examples, and interesting analogies, The Pragmatic Programmer illustrates the best practices and major pitfalls of many different aspects of software development. Whether you re a new coder, an experienced programmer, or a manager responsible for software projects, use these lessons daily, and you ll quickly see improvements in personal productivity, accuracy, and job satisfaction. You ll learn skills and develop habits and attitudes that form the foundation for long-term success in your career. You ll become a Pragmatic Programmer.
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