7 Replies - 38969 Views - Last Post: 19 October 2010 - 04:59 PM

#1 Renagado   User is offline

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Code Complete/ Pragmatic Programmer/ Clean Code

Posted 30 September 2010 - 03:58 PM

Hi guys,

Hope to get some advice here, I'm looking for a book about programming practices in general, and I found three candidates:

Code complete 2nd edition

The pragmatic programmer, from journeyman to master

Clean code, a handbook of agile software craftsmanship

And I know they are all three good books, just say I only have time to read one, which one should it be?
Thanks!

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Replies To: Code Complete/ Pragmatic Programmer/ Clean Code

#2 Atli   User is offline

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Re: Code Complete/ Pragmatic Programmer/ Clean Code

Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:26 PM

My views on the matter (which are speculations based on a brief overlook of the Amazon descriptions, and are not to be taken too seriously.)

Candidate #1:
Nope. It's cheapest, yet by far the longest, which tells us something about it's quality, no? Also, it's published by "Microsoft Press"... That just can not be a good thing :)

Candidate #2:
Shortest and most expensive. A quality indicator? Sounds a bit dry though: "The Pragmatic programmer". (Come on. You know titles with the letter "X" in them sell better!)

Candidate #3:
Has the coolest cover (space, man!.. Not that I have any idea what that has to do with the topic of the book.). And it has the word "Agile" in the title, which is a good development process. (In theory at least. Never actually had a chance to try it out myself.)



... Hope you find some more useful advice :)
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#3 Renagado   User is offline

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Re: Code Complete/ Pragmatic Programmer/ Clean Code

Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:47 PM

View PostAtli, on 30 September 2010 - 11:26 PM, said:

... Hope you find some more useful advice :)

Humorous advice is also welcome :)
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#4 Oler1s   User is offline

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Re: Code Complete/ Pragmatic Programmer/ Clean Code

Posted 30 September 2010 - 10:41 PM

Going from memory on the books. I would recommend Code complete.

Code complete serves as an overview of every concern, issue, and practice that real programmers engage in. You can pick up all the material with time, reading online, and experience, but the book can give you a critical awareness of all the important topics. Language books don't make you aware of the material, so you never get around to researching them...

Clean code is good. Code complete covers the topics to an extent, of course, but clean code is far more focused on the construction of code and design of code. But there are also problems with it. The first is that it's a bit too Java focused. Much of what is talked about is generic, but that Java focus may be annoying. I think while you would find this valuable, you really want the overview provided by code complete.

Pragmatic programmer is a bit funky. It's like a fables/tips book. It gives you advice, but you need to take some if with grains of salt. Also not a comprehensive tome like code complete.

The reason you should get Code Complete is because of awareness. By reading material online, and researching various topics and design issues, and reading blogs and what not, you'll pick up on what clean code and pragmatic programmer tell you. The problem is becoming aware of what's out there, and Code Complete fulfills that role best.
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#5 Renagado   User is offline

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Re: Code Complete/ Pragmatic Programmer/ Clean Code

Posted 01 October 2010 - 03:18 PM

Thanks for the useful reply.
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#6 baavgai   User is offline

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Re: Code Complete/ Pragmatic Programmer/ Clean Code

Posted 01 October 2010 - 05:22 PM

I have all of these, strangely enough.

I haven't gotten around to actually reading "Clean Code". Not sure why.

"The Pragmatic Programmer" is a short, fun read. I picked it up for almost selfish reasons; it affirmed a lot of things I was already doing in my small development vacuum. It's not so much a treatise on project management as friendly advice to programmers and would be programmers.

"Code Complete" is a tome. It is a treatise on project management, and programming, and pretty much everything related to the development process.

Of the three, "Code Complete" is probably the most required. Then again, I think "The Pragmatic Programmer" has a lot to say to the broadest programmer audience. Project management isn't a crappy job if you can avoid it.

Pick your focus. Programing, Project Management, or the Business Process flavor of the month. Then pick your book.
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#7 T3hC13h   User is offline

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Re: Code Complete/ Pragmatic Programmer/ Clean Code

Posted 11 October 2010 - 08:23 AM

Having 1 and 2 I recommend them both, Code Complete being an absolute must read.
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#8 Renagado   User is offline

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Re: Code Complete/ Pragmatic Programmer/ Clean Code

Posted 19 October 2010 - 04:59 PM

Thanks for all the replies guys, I thought I'd post an update, I'm currently reading pragmatic programmer, and I'll read code complete later. Why? Since both are well recommended, but the pragmatic programmer is a lot shorter, so it seems easier to start with, and my java teacher in college advised me that one. It arrived today, and I just read the 1st two chapters, and it's enjoyable thus far.

This post has been edited by Renagado: 19 October 2010 - 04:59 PM

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