I been developing software for a while now and managed to read few books on the subject. Some books are general purpose, some with narrow focus on a particular subject in the development process. Pragmatic programmer is general purpose book on the subject.
I picked up the book in hopes of learning something new, something I haven’t seen or read before. Surprising enough I did find few things, but not nearly enough to justify going through the entire book. Now let me be very clear, the book itself is a good book, if you are starting out and want to improve your skills and understand what’s out there. However it might be a waste of time if you been in the game for a while and read a few things here and there. Also I can’t help but notice that some topics are not well covered even at a basic level (IMHO).
Since negatives are largely based on the amount of knowledge/experience a developer has, let’s talk about positives. The book is well written and relatively short. There is no fluff or metaphysical discussions, just practical and pragmatic advice. The book outlines and talks about all the useful basics that each developer should have, like: structures, clean code, testing, design, refactor, thought processes, personal & team behaviour, project organization and development methodologies. There is no deep dive into any subject, just essentials – which should spark enough interest in a developer to start researching more on any particular subject of interest. The author’s personal experience also comes in handy, some things don’t change over decades.
Overall, the book is good for inexperienced developers and for the experienced developers this book might be a trip down memory lane.
In a nutshell:
+: Well written & short
+: All the basics
+: Some hands-on examples
-: Some subjects are not well covered even at basic level
=: Good book for new developers, but not much value for experienced devs.
Title: The Pragmatic Programmer, 20th Anniversary Edition your journey to mastery
Authors: Andy Hunt, David Thomas