Exhaustive account of programming practices of last 30 years
|von Steve McConnell|
Buy this book only if you are SERIOUS about programming. Because if you're not, you'll never get through it.
McConnell's book is an exhaustive guide to the nitty-gritty details of programming. There are entire CHAPTERS devoted to choosing names for variables, and dozens of pages covering every style of indenting since 1950. I am devouring programming books for my future career, and I am glad that I got this book. It covers all aspects of the design and coding process, with a heavy emphasis on readability and maintainability. It helped me to correct some bad coding practices that I developed.
I was most impressed by the references. McConnell has drawn together hundreds of papers, articles, and books written since the 60s and digested them all for you in this compact volume. He frequently quotes statistics and studies to support his claims. (Indenting lines 3-5 spaces boosts comprehension by 68%, but indenting by 6 or more spaces decreases it by 32%)
I got a real chuckle on his advice about how to deal with bosses who want to see code during the planning stages -- get printouts from previous projects and leave them around your desk, then lie!
The best book I've ever read
About previous comments: Verbose? Don't think so, every page has some piece of valuable information
For beginners only? Don't think so, but if you are a beginner this is a good place to start. After several years of programming you'll mostly stop thinking about style and follow your habits... so you better have some good habits!
Insistence on using hungarian naming convention? Not at all, did you read this book? The author did talk about this convention but he also gives examples why this is can be bad (and also why it can be good).
This book covers a wide range of material, from variable declaration to software estimation and probably everything concerning software construction.
Also as this book talks a lot about style, the best thing is it is backed up with hard facts not just because of personal preference.
The examples are written in several languages (such as C, Pascal and Basic). One chapter is devoted to object orientation. Although you're heavily into OOP then in no way should you skip over this book as the advices in this book can be applied to every methodology of programming. So this book is in no way out dated.
Each chapter has a 'recommended reading' section so you know where to go for more. This is extremely handy.
I've read this book several times and I just love it. I own every book written by the author. Check them out also - they are very good too.
Summary: This book teaches you how you can write good and self-describing code. I wished every program I've had to read had been written by programmers who read this book and applied that knowledge.
The definitive guide on common-sense software development
The subtitle of McConnell's book is "A Practical Handbook of Software Construction". I have found that it lives up to this claim excellently. Like Brook's classic "The Mythical Man-Month" Code Complete offers practical advice on the real-world challenges of software development. Code Complete contains 33 chapters, which can be read as separate essays.
To entry-level programmers and computer science students, this book is an excellent primer on the fundamentals of the industry. For experienced programmers, this book is an great way to review your own development strategies and best practices. For project managers, Code Complete serves as a great source of ideas for process improvement, as well as a great learning tool to pass on to new entry-level hires. My employer has used several chapters out of Code Complete as the basis for discussion topics.
McConnell writes in an easy-to-read, entertaining style that has made him one of the most popular authors in the field. His book "Rapid Development", is also an extremely popular book on software development, and many (including me) are anxiously awaiting his next work, "Software Project Survivial Guide".
In short, Code Complete belongs in the library of every serious developer