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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on July 18, 2004
The book Pragmatic Programmer by Hunt and Thomas fell to the second spot on my most-frequent "read list" since receiving this new version of Code Complete, though they both serve slightly different goals with overlap.
CC2 is a great one-stop 'place' to go to when you want a great excuse to apply Stephen Covey's 'Sharpen The Saw' principle. This updated version has some great, fun to read and expert instruction on designing from scratch, whether it's OO, writing better routines, psuedocode, nested loops, or at the higher level: agile methods, etc..
His approach of talking to you, the programmer, is ideal: not too much humor, and an easy to read, but professional approach in the way he donates the contents of his brain: i.e. McConnell's lengthy experience in the field.
I read just a couple of paragraphs in a chapter before work one morning, and the advice I picked up saved so much time that same day. And it wasn't even specific to coding instruction. It was a piece of advice on a philosophy on how he personally determines how much upfront design he should settle on before coding.

Books like these are a little hard to muster up motivation once you first buy it and get the book on your shelf. Our motivation to do something comes from the picture in our head, or how something sounds, and at first you can't see how much good it will do to start spending precious time on it, as compared to some brand new book on a specific language that looks impressive to know.
But the truth is: refreshing your overall S/W construction techniques gives you so much more of your life back, because you will have way less bugs and a lot more fun maintaining the high-quality code you are now writing because of CC2.
I mentioned already that he covers OO, but I wanted to emphasize the excellent material he offers in this area. I am now seeing the benefit of measuring the quality of your classes by this guideline: are they true Abstract Data Types. ( rather than just trying to use the syntax that the language provides to its potential).
Great job on a pretty thorough re-write of a S/W development staple.
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on April 5, 2004
The original Code Complete has long been regarded by many serious software developers as a "must have" compilation of software construction best practices. CC2 has similar breadth and depth and has been thoroughly updated to include discussion of emerging methodologies as extreme programming and best practices such as refactoring.
Steve McConnell provides a balanced, thoughtful discussion of competing opinions along with a wealth of references to additional materials covering specific topics in more detail. At the same time, McConnell has a clear voice articulating his judgment on various controversial topics.
Overall, CC2 is an essential book to include in your library whether you're just starting out in your career or an old grey hair responsible for mentoring teams. In both cases, CC2 puts a mountain of software construction best practices at your fingertips.
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on June 28, 2016
This book is exactly what every programmer needs. I've got a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, and this book covers what my degree DID NOT. This book strings all the architecture and theory I've learned in my degree, and binds it all together with proper code Construction practices.

Quality code construction is what separates the novice programmers from the experienced ones. I recommend every programmer pick this up, read it, and keep it as a reference book.
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on April 2, 2006
Code Complete by Steve McConnell is the convergence (the crossroads) of experience, research, and theory. This book is invaluable, the Holy Grail of programming reference books. McConnell's writing style is clear, concise, easy to understand and often humorous.
Programmers on every level (from introduction to master) will benefit from reading this book. Programmers at the introduction level may find some topics advanced, but references to additional resources are close at hand. This book covers a broad range of interconnected topics ranging from: variable names, code-tuning, personal character, managing your manager, gonzo programming and much more. The emphasis is always on successful software design techniques.
McConnell nails the "hows", "whats" and most importantly the "whys"(with hard data) that so many other texts seem to avoid.
It's interesting to note that Code Complete is a required read to become a practitioner (intermediate) level employee in McConnell's company (
Selected quotes from Code Complete:
"People have already made all the mistakes that you're making now, and unless you're a glutton for punishment, you'll prefer reading their books and avoiding their mistakes to inventing new versions of old problems." (Chapter 35)
"Once a programmer realizes that programming principles transcend the syntax of any specific language, the doors swing open to knowledge that truly makes a difference in quality and productivity." (Preface)
"The value of hands-on experience as compared to book learning is smaller in software development than in many other fields" (Chapter 35)
I prefer Code Complete over the Pragmatic Programmer; the topics discussed in the Pragmatic Programmer are a subset of Code Complete. The Pragmatic Programmer makes a good prerequisite to Code Complete.
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on March 7, 2004
Have not read the final version, just various chapters released for reader commets. A definite replacement for the first version. All areas have been updated and new chapters on topics such as refactoring.
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on May 30, 2014
If you're like me then you've probably purchased your fair share of "product and language" books over the years. Those books generally teach you the basics of how to use some company's product or language, but the knowledge doesn't transfer over, and they don't actually make you a better developer.

Insert Code Complete.

This is the book that the software development world has needed for a long time. Instead of focusing on languages, it focuses on general design best practices that are applicable to most languages. Knowing the material in this book will elevate you from the junior developer ranks up to a more senior skill level.
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on January 19, 2012
It was delivered fast enough. I heard a lot about this book. This is a Bible for a programmer. Strongly recommended.
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on January 31, 2014
I started reading the book front to back and had it read in the first few weeks I owned it. Now it's a valuable resource that I reference often. Written from the point of an experienced developer it really gives you the tools needed to design and implement large scale software.
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on August 24, 2010
This is a great book.
No matter if you are junior application developer, team lead or manager, you'll find usefull information for yourself and your team.
There a lot of practical examples on code optimization and efficient usage of the resources.
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on November 27, 2015
If you develop software you should read this book. It won't give you new keywords to put on your resume but it will help you to manage complexity and to write code you can understand in a year's time.
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