Becoming a Better Programmer
A Handbook for People Who Care About Code
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2014
Pages: 362

If you’re passionate about programming and want to get better at it, you’ve come to the right source. Code Craft author Pete Goodliffe presents a collection of useful techniques and approaches to the art and craft of programming that will help boost your career and your well-being.

Goodliffe presents sound advice that he’s learned in 15 years of professional programming. The book’s standalone chapters span the range of a software developer’s life—dealing with code, learning the trade, and improving performance—with no language or industry bias. Whether you’re a seasoned developer, a neophyte professional, or a hobbyist, you’ll find valuable tips in five independent categories:

  • Code-level techniques for crafting lines of code, testing, debugging, and coping with complexity
  • Practices, approaches, and attitudes: keep it simple, collaborate well, reuse, and create malleable code
  • Tactics for learning effectively, behaving ethically, finding challenges, and avoiding stagnation
  • Practical ways to complete things: use the right tools, know what “done” looks like, and seek help from colleagues
  • Habits for working well with others, and pursuing development as a social activity
Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Colophon
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

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oreillyBecoming a Better Programmer
 
3.8

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well-written (5)
  • Easy to understand (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Novice (4)
  • Intermediate (3)
  • Student (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (4)

Reviewed by 6 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

It's not just about code

By Fred Mora

from CT

About Me Developer, Sys Admin

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Helpful examples
  • Useful
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Becoming a Better Programmer:

    The coding tasks are only a minute part of a programmer's daily work. That's the fun part. Then there is the rest. The meetings. The tool chains. The requirements. The different kind of tests. The production setup and its ever-changing automation. These tasks are as much about communication as about skills.

    Within development itself, there are countless pitfalls that can turn a straightforward project into a horrible mess. Technical skills alone seldom guarantee your survival.

    The book does a pretty decent job of describing both kind of pitfalls and presenting the job of a developer as a whole, as opposed to reducing us coders to code-grinding monkeys.

    The book sometimes seems to veer off a bit into horror stories, but don't let that fool you. Programming is too wide a field to be reduced to a simple set of recipes. On the other hand, there are a number of common recipes that send a whole team straight to disaster alley. So these horror stories are very useful. They teach us how not to do our job, which is what hard-won experience is all about.

    I want my new hires to read that book, and I plan on re-reading it every couple of years as a refresher.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Highly Recommended to Senior Developers

    By ronb

    from Oregon

    About Me Senior Team Leader

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Enjoyable To Read
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Senior Team Leaders

      Comments about oreilly Becoming a Better Programmer:

      Becoming a Better Programmer has useful information for all software developers at any stage of their career, not just the novice programmer, but especially the senior team leader.

      Several other reviewers have recommended this book for novice software developers, but they generally felt more experienced programmers have seen it all before. While it is true, I don't think, I came across any groundbreaking revelations, it is very useful as a catalogue of ideas and techniques for crafting better code. After several decades as a programmer, many of these ideas almost seem intuitive. They have become good habits, which I don't need to review consciously while coding. However, as a senior team leader, mentoring of new interns is number five on the list for my performance review. I believe any senior team leader will benefit from consciously being reminded of the principles of writing good code.

      (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      A fun and insightful book to get us all to the right path

      By Jascha

      from Barcelona

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about oreilly Becoming a Better Programmer:

          This book is definitely fun and insightful at the same time, which makes up a devastating combo if you are that kind of developer that does care about what he delivers, that kind of professional that gets to work before everyone else because it's not just about the money, it's because I love what I do, that kind of guy that enjoys staying up until 5 am with his favorite text editor opened and a cup of warm coffee next to him.

          I've enjoyed these 360 pages. I have enjoyed them so much that I'm sitting in front of Iceweasel with that stupid smile that you have when something nice just happened to you.

          What is this book about? It's about caring about what we do. It's about throwing our ego apart and accepting that we are humans and, as such, we all make errors and, mainly, we can/must learn from them.

          Developing software is that mix of science, art and magic that's hard to define. Still, there are best practices and some common sense guidelines that get us to the next level. And make the world a better place.

          I have read, years ago, Clean Code by R. Martin. Well, that was great. I think that I have learned a lot from that text. Reading Pete's book reminded me many things of Martin's. I'm pretty much sure Pete himself has read and loved that book and was influenced by it, as a lot of coders have been as well.

          But Pete is fun! Reading this book makes you wanna be his team mate and share with him stories, those funny things we tell each others during a coffee break or lunch.

          If you are a developer that cares about his code, then Becoming a Better Programmer will definitely get to your soul. Pete is one of us, I can tell.

          Suggested Books:
          Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

          As usual, you can find more reviews on my personal blog: http://books.lostinmalloc.com Feel free to pass by and share your thoughts!

          (13 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Good coverage on a variety of topics

          By Zach

          from AZ

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Novice
            • Student

            Comments about oreilly Becoming a Better Programmer:

            This book is easy to read and the author's style was enjoyable. Some points are repeated in several places, but it's understandable given that the chapters are meant to stand alone.

            I have a general engineering background, but spend most of my time working on software. There was lots of advice here on the general practices and approaches that I found to be very helpful.

            The early release edition has a few typos, and many of the pictures don't seem to be sized right on the .mobi version on Kindle.

            (9 of 44 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            Not too helpful

            By Jerry

            from Bailey, CO

            About Me Developer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

              Cons

              • Too basic

              Best Uses

                Comments about oreilly Becoming a Better Programmer:

                I understand this is an early release but this book doesn't contain very much useful content. I have read other books on good development that were significantly better. When the book is final, I will try again and, hopefully, it will be more useful. Right now, it is a bunch of fluff with no good information.

                (9 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Easy to read, succinct advice.

                By Tired Old Queenslander

                from Toowoomba Queensland

                About Me Designer, Developer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert
                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice
                  • Student

                  Comments about oreilly Becoming a Better Programmer:

                  Easy to read book that makes its points succinctly and convincingly.

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