In an effort to make myself the best developer possible, I have been reading the classics in the programmer’s cannon. These are the books you are assigned as homework on your way to a computer science degree. This month I read “The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master” by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. It was nothing short of fantastic, and truly a book that I can see myself constantly referring back to in my career.
The book positions itself as something that will simply make you a better programmer by embracing its principles. It’s a lofty goal, but it hits the mark. The authors’ approach is pragmatic in itself; break down 70 professional life lessons learned over the years by successful programmers. I found this to be a very effective way to ingest the information at my own pace. Each tip is clearly a valuable truth that has proven itself over time, from practical suggestions like mastering your code editor, to design considerations like keeping your code DRY, to philosophical mantras like taking pride in your work and fixing things when you see them (affectionately known as broken windows). Each nugget is great with little filler. It even comes with a cardboard quick reference pullout that you can hang up in your workspace for future reference. Believe me, this is getting hung up in my cube today (#geek).
I am thankful to the authors for putting together this helpful work in an such an easy to digest format. It’s a winner and something I recommend to anyone interested in making themselves a better programmer, or simply wanting a refresher on best practices.