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This Book Changed Me, Jun 17 2009
I'd been programming for eight years in various languages and technologies when I read this book so I wasn't an absolute beginner; but after I read this book my coding completely changed, and I think for the better.
What impressed me most about this book was the many examples: "Uncle Bob" gave practical before and after examples of applying the principals of clean code. The examples were realistic and worthwhile: he'd take a piece of code, iteratively apply different principals and by the time he was done the code looked, well, clean, both in design and readability.
From what I've heard, what people remember most is the principal of "self-documenting code". Now I too had heard all of that before and I'd seen some terrible "self-documenting" code; however, when Martin explained it--and gave examples--it began to make sense and I've been doing it ever since. Trust me, when _he_ explains it, it makes sense.
The book goes well beyond self-documenting code. I would recommend this book for anyone who codes, but especially for someone with a couple years of, not just writing code, but also reading other people's code; often it's hard to pin down just what is so difficult and clumsy about the code we write and Martin shows us.