The Pragmatic Programmer

I just concluded The Pragmatic Programmer – 20th Anniversary Edition (David Thomas, Andrew Hunt, 352 pages). And I quite enjoyed it.

Although I’ve been programming myself for now over 20 years, I still think there is plenty to learn and reflect upon the art and craft of programming. This book is a great tool in such a process.

Firstly, because it is quite rich in content. It covers a lot of details in and around programming that are very central to the profession. For example, source control, build automation, and testing practices. Some opinions and recommendations in the book go against common practices. But always with great arguments, and with the weight of professionals who have “been there, done that”.

Secondly, the reflection parts of the book are extremely good, in my opinion. The authors don’t fight shy of discussing topics like ethics, different measurements of success, and even things like the horizon of personal choices that goes beyond the minutiae of all technical details a developer typically deals with on a daily basis.

This book is, in short, great. It could be argued that it has even more relevance for younger engineers. But I can assure that anyone into programming, independent of the level of experience, will benefit from it.

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