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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential... if you're beginning
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...
Published on Feb. 15 2012 by A Pragmatic Programmer

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
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...
Published on Dec 5 2000 by Mark


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for every programmer. Fun, Enjoyable., April 2 2006
This review is from: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Paperback)
The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master, is a must-read for everyone involved in the software industry. The tone of this book is casual and often humorous making it fun, enjoyable and easy to read.
As the title implies, this book is targeted towards the programmer (the construction phase of software engineering). The authors outline common sense principals and practices that every developer SHOULD be aware of (but in reality most of these practices are overlooked).
These principals are often obvious, but keep in mind that "the obvious [...] is never seen until someone expresses it simply." (Kahlil Gibran) The authors express good program principals, outline the collection of tools every practitioner should have, and offer priceless advice in a simple manner.
This book left me with many unanswered questions, the authors offered a lot of "How-Tos" and "What-Tos" with out answering the "Whys". Code Complete [Steve McConnell] answers most (if not all) of these questions and in doing so, is three times the size. The Pragmatic Programmer makes an excellent prerequisite to Code Complete. Both books should be read.
It's interesting to note that both authors (Andrew Hunt, David Thomas) are authors of the Agile Manifesto, and have a series of Pragmatic Programming books (Pragmatic AJAX, Agile Web Development With Rails, Programming Ruby, etc...).
Their other texts are equally humorous and easy to read.
The Pragmatic Programmer must simply be read and then re-read, I can attest "this book will help you become a better programmer" (Preface).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for beginning programmers, Nov. 28 1999
By 
Paul D. Ferguson (Santa Clara, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Paperback)
The Pragmatic Programmer is a mixed bag. It attempts to cover a large number of broad topics, ranging from object-oriented design to algorithm speed to testing strategies. As a result, each topic gets a fairly superficial treatment, only skimming the surface before moving onto something else.
My other reservation about the book is that the authors are "Unix geeks", and view the world accordingly. They touch on Windows mostly to urge readers to put a Unix shell on top of it; other platforms like Mac OS are mentioned not at all. Personally, I am tired of "real programmers use the command line", or "Emacs is God" posturing (despite the authors' earnest but flawed attempts to justify these), and felt it detracted from an otherwise useful book. Worse, the authors fail to discuss any tools related to building complex interactive applications, a significant omission from the stated goals and scope of the book.
Those complaints aside, the book does contain useful information and ideas, especially for new programmers who often don't have a strong grasp on the bigger picture of software development. The authors offer good insights on topics like design by contract, documentation, and refactoring, which new programmers often fail to appreciate.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, but light compared to Steve McConnell, Dec 20 2001
This review is from: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Paperback)
The title "The Pragmatic Programmer" is very apt. Not a book written by a professor for teaching, this book is written by actual programmers to be read and used by actual programmers. There is a wealth of sound practical advice, and a gift for the memorable phrase or anecdote. I found this book to be a useful refresher, and well worth reading. The writing style is excellent - clear, entertaining, appropriate level of humour.
However I've given it only three stars. My favourite book on programming, "Code Complete" by Steve McConnell, is equally readable, but covers similar ground in far more depth. I make Code Complete required reading for my programming teams. The Pragmatic Programmer doesn't make it past "Suggestions for further reading".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely life changing., May 2 2004
By 
Danilo Gurovich "dan@gurovich.com" (Northridge, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Paperback)
For the last year in two different companies I have been evangelizing many of the concepts in "Pragmatic Programmer", but had a hard time validating my thoughts to the more skeptical people in our group.
That's over now. "Pragmatic Programmer" has given me not only the ammunition I need to wage war against some of the more Philistine ideas that I must deal with, it has added to my thoughts and made me a better leader, better communicator and a much, much better developer. Any book that tells you to step away from the keyboard before you begin is good, but this book is a masterpiece because it tells you WHY you should take a step back.
Every chapter is a gem and stands alone, but taken together with the references and extremely well-written explanations, it almosts reads like a novel. I felt guilty putting it down!
If you are serious about software, serious about becoming a real craftsman and a leader in your field, then this book needs to be on your shelf, dog-eared and used.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read, July 12 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very good book for software engineers caring about their craft!

Manage to put into words stuff that most competent already feel, but have trouble phrasing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Beginners Only, Aug. 13 2011
This review is from: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Paperback)
What a bore! I got this book in hopes of acquiring something that would forever change my coding style, and introduce me to the many deeper concepts of programming that I didn't yet know of. Instead I was reintroduced to all of the basic concepts of programming, concepts that the average programmer should already be aware of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary contents but too bulky, April 27 2004
This review is from: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Paperback)
I can only repeat what most other reviewers said: it's an extraordinary book, a real treasure. On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, this book would deserve 6 -- but I must draw one star for the bulky design ;)
Information density is high and actually the book could be a small pocket book ideal to take along everywhere. But unfortunately the publishers preferred to use big typefaces, thick paper and include a lot of empty space. They probably blowed up the book to make it heavier and look "more important" in order to sell it for a higher price. For me, they didn't hit the target because I didn't buy the thing. I swear I would spend $40 rightaway if it would be as handy as it could but for now I stick to the electronic version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic, April 15 2004
By 
Dave Astle (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Paperback)
A friend of mine recommended this book to me a year ago and I finally got around to reading it. Not only do I wish I had taken him up on his recommendation immediately, I wish that I had read it years earlier. The book's subtitle "from journeyman to master" really sums it up nicely.
The book contains practical advice from experienced programmers that will help you become a more effective software developer. Unlike many books which dogmatically preach a specific methodology, this book focuses on (not-so-)common sense practices that are simple yet effective, as well as highlighting potential pitfalls to be avoided. Many of them can be applied to your own development process without requiring radical changes, while others will require team- or project-wide changes. Fortunately the nature of the recommended practices is such that you don't have to adopt all of them to be effective. You can pick and choose which ones are most appropriate and gradually incorporate them into your development process.
The range of topics covered is fairly broad, but the important themes are writing easy-to-maintain, reusable code, identifying and adjusting requirements quickly and effectively, managing large projects, and avoiding bad habits and developing good attitudes. Although I don't absolutely agree with everything the authors present, the justification they provide is thought stimulating and will probably change how you do things even if you don't consciously decide to adopt any of their practices.
I found the exercises (and their accompanying solutions) scattered throughout the book to be extremely useful in internalizing the principles being taught, as well as gauging how well I approach problem-solving. I'd highly recommend working through them as you read the book.
Finally, it's worth mentioning how enjoyable this book is to read. The authors' sense of humor and sprinkling of anecdotes make this an easy read without in any way detracting from the content.
If you're a brand new programmer, you probably won't appreciate many of the ideas presented in this book, but come back after you have a year or two of experience. Successful, experienced programmers will find that this book confirms many of the things you're already doing, while providing a lot of useful ideas to become even better. Even if you're not a programmer, but manage or otherwise work with programming teams, you'll find a lot of helpful information here. If there were one book I could require all of my coworkers to read, this would be it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome kind of view, Jan. 28 2004
By 
wiredweird "wiredweird" (Earth, or somewhere nearby) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Paperback)
"Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art." (Charles McCabe)
By McCabe's definition, this book is very artful. That's a good thing - the opinions are founded on long experience and on broad familiarity with software development. The authors, true to their "pragmatic" promise, often omit the theory and case history that justify the opinions. They offer reams of advice on nearly every part aspect of industrial programming, and I think that all of the advice is good.
I don't agree with all of it - good advice is good within its limits, and my work often lies outside of their limits. Take, for example, their editor fanaticism. I've been hearing for 25 years how much more efficient my work will be if I use editor <xyz>. First, I move between development environments so much that learning funny key-pokes for one environment just gives me the wrong reflexes for the next environment and the one after that. Mostly, though, text entry is about 5% of my problem. Suppose, after a "near-vertical learning curve", that the cult editor cuts 20% off my editing time - data entry would then be 4% of my problem. The cost/benefit ratio underwhelms me. If you really love your escape-meta-alt-control-shift (emacs) editor, though, don't let me get in your way.
I still think that almost all of the authors' views are good ones, with good reasons behind them. I rabidly agree with lots of them (especially DRY - Don't Repeat Yourself), and for lots more reasons than they give. The book is helpful even where I disagree. When I rethink my own circumstance, it's not that their reasoning is wrong, but that different reasoning is more right.
This is one to keep, not just for the programmers in the trenches but for their managers, as well. Best, it doesn't try to dress up the -ism of the day as holy law - as the title says, it's about pragmatics.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book with a good advice a day for weeks, Jan. 13 2004
By 
ws__ (Hamburg, Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Paperback)
I really did like the book. It is an excellent book, a treasure chest of advice and excellent references to more reading. You can use it for reference and read it in almost any order and at any kinds of intervals.
But the field of general programming advice is so well equipped with excellent books that I can (unfortunately) only give four stars.
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The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master by David Thomas (Paperback - Oct. 20 1999)
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