This is what I call a “peas and carrots” book. It’s not a bad book and it’s hard to argue with anything the authors advocate, but to me it’s a lot like a self-help book in that people will feel good while reading it (and thus rate it highly) but in the end a lot of people will not actually follow the material and unless you’re a newbie a whole lot of it will be pretty obvious. I know this because I’ve been working in the software industry for 20 years and this is hailed as a classic, yet people continue to make the same mistakes. This isn’t the book’s fault really, but I also feel like the book covers a lot without saying much at all. It’s similar to a self-help book for people who are feeling down, they might feel good reading it but does it really genuinely help you in the end? I suppose that depends on the person.
Don’t repeat yourself (DRY), always be learning, be mindful of how you name your variables, avoid code rot, don’t over-engineer, don’t make excuses when you mess up, write unit tests, use version control, avoid global variables, use properties or getter/setter methods, work well with others, refactor your code when needed, break down complex problems into smaller more digestible chunks, double-check emails before sending them, etc etc. These are the concepts this book talks about.
This is more a “why” book and less a “how” book. It does talk about the hows from a birds-eye perspective but it never really digs deep into any particular topic, rather it uses (well written) flowery language to say a lot without saying a whole lot. I really feel like this type of book, for the most part, could be distilled down into a couple pages of bullet points and not lose too much effect. It is well written though, so it’s kinda fun to read in a feel-good sense.
There are good nuggets of information in this book and some topics are covered a bit more in depth than others, but in the end I think you will feel good while reading it because it is easy to read and agree with it, especially for a book focused on programming, but I don’t think you’ll come out of it leveling up your skills, especially if you’re experienced. Despite people saying that this is a book for all levels, I feel like you’ll get more out of it if you’re a new developer. For experienced developers, as I mentioned, it will serve as a gentle reminder of what you should do, even if you don’t follow the advice given when you’re finished with the book.
One thing worth mentioning is that I purchased the Kindle version and it's done proper. There are no issues with blurry text or bad formatting like I see with many other technical books.
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The Pragmatic Programmer: your journey to mastery, 20th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – Illustrated, 25 November 2019
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"To participate in the next generation of professional product delivery you have to be pragmatic but disciplined. Otherwise, you are fated to be ungrounded dreamers whose products endanger people and whose ideas never become successfully integrated into the world. Andy and Dave described a pragmatic but disciplined approach which is a key step towards professionalism." –Ken Schwaber, co-creator of Scrum and founder of Scrum.org, agile manifesto signatory, and author of Software in 30 Days. "Picking adjectives is hard work. In The Pragmatic Programmer, Dave and Andy set the tone for their work–thoughtful, expert, aspirational, and full of care for themselves and those they touch through their programs. From its publication, this was the book to read if you wanted to work to improve." –Kent Beck, Gusto, author of Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change, Test-Driven Development: By Example, and The Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns "Some say that with The Pragmatic Programmer, Andy and Dave captured lightning in a bottle; that it’s unlikely anyone will soon write a book that can move an entire industry as it did. Sometimes, though, lightning does strike twice, and this book is proof. The updated content ensures that it will stay at the top of “best books in software development” lists for another 20 years, right where it belongs." ―VM (Vicky) Brasseur, Director of Open Source Strategy, Juniper Networks "If you want your software to be easy to modernize and maintain, keep a copy of The Pragmatic Programmer close. It’s filled with practical advice, both technical and professional, that will serve you and your projects well for years to come." ―Andrea Goulet, CEO, Corgibytes; Founder, LegacyCode.Rocks " The Pragmatic Programmer is the one book I can point to that completely dislodged the existing trajectory of my career in software and pointed me in the direction of success. Reading it opened my mind to the possibilities of being a craftsman, not just a cog in a big machine. One of the most significant books in my life." ―Obie Fernandez, Author, The Rails Way "First-time readers can look forward to an enthralling induction into the modern world of software practice, a world that the first edition played a major role in shaping. Readers of the first edition will rediscover here the insights and practical wisdom that made the book so significant in the first place, expertly curated and updated, along with much that’s new." ―David A. Black, Author, The Well-Grounded Rubyist "I have an old paper copy of the original Pragmatic Programmer on my bookshelf. It has been read and re-read and a long time ago it changed everything about how I approached my job as a programmer. In the new edition everything and nothing has changed: I now read it on my iPad and the code examples use modern programming languages―but the underlying concepts, ideas, and attitudes are timeless and universally applicable. Twenty years later, the book is as relevant as ever. It makes me happy to know that current and future developers will have the same opportunity to learn from Andy and Dave’s profound insights as I did back in the day." ―Sandy Mamoli, Agile coach; Author of How Self-Selection Lets People Excel
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The bestselling software development guide - more than 200,000 sold - now thoroughly updated by its world-class author team
- Today's best approaches to transforming requirements into working, maintainable code that delights users
- Thoroughly revised with 10 new sections, extensive new coverage, new examples throughout - and future-proofed with greater technology-independence
- Brings together pragmatic advice on everything from personal career fulfillment to more effective architecture
"One of the most significant books in my life." --Obie Fernandez, Author, The Rails Way"Twenty years ago, the first edition of The Pragmatic Programmer completely changed the trajectory of my career. This new edition could do the same for yours." --Mike Cohn, Author of Succeeding with Agile, Agile Estimating and Planning, and User Stories Applied ". . . filled with practical advice, both technical and professional, that will serve you and your projects well for years to come." --Andrea Goulet, CEO, Corgibytes, Founder, LegacyCode.Rocks ". . . lightning does strike twice, and this book is proof." --VM (Vicky) Brasseur, Director of Open Source Strategy, Juniper Networks
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Amazon.com: 47 reviews
The programmer’s equivalent to a self-help book2 February 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
234 people found this helpful
The greatest influence of my 30 year career8 February 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
A friend convinced me to get this book when it came out in 99. Before that I was an opinionated zealot about specific programming languages, technologies and frameworks. I've applied the advice given in this book every day since then and it's become a guiding principle of how I hire software engineers to my team.
23 people found this helpful
Pretentious and not particularly helpful9 November 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
Read this as a book club with some coworkers - all software engineers. This book is wordy, rather pretentious, and creates unnecessary acronyms that only serve to complicate fairly simple/common-sense concepts. Overall, it hasn't much helped us grow as developers.
12 people found this helpful
Must read for every software engineer12 December 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
I think this book should be a textbook In programming schools. I loved this book! So many great takeaways. I read this religiously like a textbook while making notes.
12 people found this helpful
Great gift for dedicated programmer30 December 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
This was a gift for a top notch experienced programmer for Christmas. He mentioned wanting this book. He said it is a great book and he was very happy that I bought it for him. I believe he was telling the truth and not just being polite.
8 people found this helpful