October 28, 2010

The Pragmatic Programmer

After reading Code Complete, I decided to continue with another book that had been on my reading list for a while. The Pragmatic Programmer is another excellent resource for developers. When comparing these two books, I would say that Code Complete is probably a better starting point, since it seems to cover more topics, and provide more details. With that said, Pragmatic Programmer is still a worthwhile read. There is definitely overlap between the two books, but there are some items that Pragmatic Programmer covers, that I didn't remember reading in Code Complete.

The book seems to be more humorous than some of the other software books I've read, which makes for easier, more enjoyable reading. The information in this book is what really helps separate the programmers from the software engineers. These concepts are what help make developers more valuable employees, and more productive engineers.

If you haven't ready Code Complete, I would recommend it first, but with that said I still think Pragmatic Programmer is a worthwhile read.

October 25, 2010

Software Engineering Handbook - Code Complete

I recently finished reading Steve McConnell's software development manual: Code Complete. It is a hefty read, but well worth it. As I was reading I found myself quickly skimming over some sections that I felt comfortable with, while at the same time other sections really made me think about some of the ways that I approach software development. I also found that some of the topics that I read were things that I tend to do naturally, but it was still nice to see formal definition and documentation to support what I do. The book covers all of the major areas that I would expect an experienced developer to be comfortable with.

Many of the topics are only briefly covered, but it is still an excellent source for how to develop software. For some programmers this may be their first exposure to these topics, so it is a great way to expand your knowledge. Some of these brief introductions should trigger further investigation and research for topics that are of interest. Even if the topics aren't' all covered in depth, it is nice to just know what ideas, practices, and techniques are out there.

In the end, I would say that Code Complete a "must read" for all software engineers, especially for those with at least 2-3 years of experience under their belt. It's still useful for the novice software developer, but the quantity of information may be a little overwhelming for beginners.