REVIEW - The Pragmatic Programmer - From Journeyman to Master


The Pragmatic Programmer

From Journeyman to Master


Andrew Hunt, David Thomas


Addison-Wesley Professional (1999)




Francis Glassborow


June 2000



For me this is a great book to start the new century, I think you will agree.

For me this is one of those 'must read' books. Even though much of the content will be obvious to experienced programmers it is always pleasant to have your opinions confirmed by others and when they are as well articulated as you will find them in this book you really should not begrudge the authors their royalties.

One of the strongest threads of this book is 'Do it only once.' This is not just applied to code but to the whole process of software development. They make a very good case for throwing away your IDEs and using a single text editor to do everything. Which text editor is your choice, but to the authors it should become a well-loved tool that you have carefully shaped to support your style.

They then advocate the use of scripting languages to allow you to convert ASCII 'specifications' into the form needed for specific use. No I am not going into further detail about that here; you must read the book for yourself. Trust me, it will be worth the effort (if it isn't then you are either a brilliant practitioner or a hopeless case.) Then they are great advocates for programmers increasing their toolkit by studying new languages (they advocate learning one every year), adding your own purpose written programmes etc.

Overall this book is well written in highly readable English and is full of common sense coupled with insights that maybe new to many readers. For me this is a great book to start the new century, I think you will agree.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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