Book review: Becoming a Better Programmer

Becoming a Better Programmer

Becoming a Better Programmer

This is a book I wish I had read when starting my career as a professional developer because I would have had a head start about many of the things everybody takes for granted but at as a student nobody tells you about.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t say that I couldn’t get anything out of the book because I have already known it all but as it tries to cover nearly everything that is important for a professional developer there are naturally some things I already was aware about.

This book is not about telling you which patterns to use or how to solve specific problems but covers more the everyday life of a developer and how to become better in getting the right behavior, communicating with colleagues and customers, important general concepts in programming, a bit of tooling hints, basics of agile development and how to learn and what to read.

Positive:

  • A practiced programmer packed general advice together in one book.
  • Good advice to make general a good impression at your job and integrate into the programming world.
  • Many topics you need to know about as a developer.
  • Most topics are timeless.
  • Language independent.
  • Good and quick to read (337 pages).
  • Quizzes to deepen the read.

Negative:

  • If you have some years as aa programmer under your belt you will already know about most of the topics (the author gives advice from his best practices and “must know” topics which aren’t that different from what other developers learn during their career).
  • Some information is repeated in different sections.

Conclusion:
After all I liked reading the book even if I already knew much of the content. Especially the second half of the book got some interesting points for me. I realized that there are some things I can try to improve in my communication skills and I got many motivation from the chapters about attitude

Besides that I liked the authors idea about which people are good and which are a bad influence, how to choose your “heroes” and what he thinks about Manifestos.

I would definitely recommend the book for anyone starting out a programming career. Everyone who has some years of experience should have a look to the index and decide for themselves. If you ask me I don’t regret reading it because it still is a good book with good advice even if I discovered many of them on my own during the last years.

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