Every profession has the classic books that most professionals have read. The field of software development is no different. When you first start in a field you begin to notice people will quote a lot from certain books. There is a book that really resonates with me. The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas has many good nuggets of information that we can glean. The book starts off identifying what it means to be a pragmatic programmer.
What distinguishes Pragmatic Programmers? We feel it’s an attitude, a style, a philosophy of approaching problems and their solutions. They think beyond the immediate problem, always trying to place it in its larger context, always trying to be aware of the bigger picture. After all, without this larger context, how can you be pragmatic? How can you make intelligent compromises and informed decisions?
This book has multiple gems on each page. It starts with the philosophy and moves on to the many tools we should use. In chapter 14 “The Power of Plain Text” they discuss our knowledge as programmers should be kept in plain text. When we store it in plain text we have access to it from a manual or programmatic perspective.
In section 7 “Before the project” they discuss some of the planning that should take place before work begins. “Don’t gather requirements-Dig for them” is a tip they share with us. They talk a bit about what makes a good requirement and how we need to determine what the true needs are for the application.
Overall this book shares a lot of good items. I think it also wets your appetite for many other great books. What is on your bookshelf?