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The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master Paperback – Oct 20 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (Oct. 20 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 020161622X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201616224
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 608 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark on Dec 5 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a decent but not spectacular book, which is written as a series of 46 five to ten page articles on various programming topics, such as "Orthogonality", "Design by Contract" and "The Requirements Pit". The segments are quite heavily cross-referenced (which I didn't find very useful).

The authors dole out a lot of solid advice, which is the book's strength. I found myself disagreeing with very little. There are memorable tips and some good stories. The writing style is also very accessible and conducive to diving in at any page.

The book seems a bit lightweight. The exercises are a little simple and I don't think you'll find yourself going back to this book a lot. Also, the typeface is annoyingly large.

I'd recommend this to someone who has done some programming and understands the syntax and fundamentals but hasn't gotten into programming larger pieces of software. I think that if you have programmed anything significant you won't find much new in here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Pragmatic Programmer on Feb. 15 2012
Format: Paperback
There is a great number of positive reviews for this book, and rightfully so, however there are some critics with a good deal of experience in programming that seem to have some majors problems with it. I believe it comes down to this: it is packed full of common sense and great tips but it's all advice that anyone that has had a few years of experience will probably have picked up already. I wish I had come upon this book as I was entering the job market, but most of it just made me nod in agreement. While I didn't get the epiphany other books managed to provide, even for an experienced programmer, it is good to be reminded of those sound advices and of why exactly we do the things we do the way we do them.

All the tips are covered superficially, but with enough depth that you understand the what and the why, and can still go to the next one quickly. Further chapters don't depend on previous ones, so you can jump in at any topic that interests you. As such, it makes a good a-tip-a-day read.

While the main advice it provides is simply "care about your craft", it is advice I wish more would follow and this book just might convince some and teach the beginners some of what that actually entails. In the end, the simplicity of this book is what makes it such an interesting read.

The font is indeed a bit too big to be comfortable on the eyes, but the chapters are short enough that you aren't forced to strain for hours. The layout of the chapters also seems a bit random.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Larry Musa on Dec 24 2001
Format: Paperback
I read the glowing reviews here and then browsed it at the bookstore...where it looked pretty good...When I took it home and started reading it, a different picture evolved...Here are a few nuggets:
1. Much of what the authors espouse is just common sense and would be picked up or developed by most bright developers on their own.
2. Some of what the authors espouse is just wrong...we have suggestions that if your code is correct then it will take little effort to make it run on Win16, Win 32 , and different flavors of Unix or whatever environment. I disagree. This would only be true for the most trivial programs. Even using a factory pattern, as opposed to the usual compiler switches, one could build such a losely coupled and modern system to run on different environments...but it would hardly be easy to do because the different environments require separate (and hardwon!) skillsets/knowledge...not easy to find in one developer...Perhaps the authors should try their hand on some cross-browser, cross operating system DHTML...and make sure it runs on all versions of Netscape to boot.
3. The authors elevating of the text editor and command line over IDE is just non-sense...and again wrong...they say you cannot configure the IDEs...anyone who has written an add-in for VB knows it is indeed possible.
4. I could go on, but I will conclude with their total lack of understanding of Physics which they quote wrongly...the Universe does not split(Shroedinger's cat) after a measurement and Heisenberg said it was ,IN PRINCIPAL, impossible to perform certain measurements without disturbing the system...On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to perform debugging without disturbing the code...
5. And they have the audacity to call their book "...
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 17 2000
Format: Paperback
I like to consider myself a master craftsman. My craft is that of programming. I live for programming. Programming is rarely from my thoughts. I am constantly thinking of ways to improve my craft. Learn a new skill. Develop a new tool. What went wrong? How can I do better next time?
Programming is a rapidly changing craft. A machinist can learn to work a lathe or a milling machine, and expect that his knowledge will stand him in good stead for the rest of his working life. Not so for the craftsman programmer. Ours is a new craft. We are still learning how to do it. Having survived in the game for a decade or two, and having learned dozens of languages, operating systems, database management systems, transaction processing managers, editors, we come to the realisation that this is a hard game. Each of us learns skills that help us cope with all that change. We learn basic programming skills. We go on learning them. We learn to see what is coming, and move in anticipation. We learn what is important, and what is not. We watch those who are successful, and try to emulate them. We watch the unsuccessful with horrid fascination, and try to learn from them also. "There but for the grace of God go I!"
I don't know how to make an object oriented design. I can do design sketches. So I start from there. I build my system, dealing with the problems as they arise. I rely on my experience to keep me out of trouble. When I see commonality between two classes, I take the opportunity to refactor and eliminate the commonality. I am quite happy to rewrite any piece of code to make it better. You know what happens? I end up with a well-designed system despite myself. I am an opportunistic programmer.
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