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Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly)) [Paperback]

Greg Wilson , Andy Oram
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £28.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 July 2007 0596510047 978-0596510046 1

How do the experts solve difficult problems in software development? In this unique and insightful book, leading computer scientists offer case studies that reveal how they found unusual, carefully designed solutions to high-profile projects. You will be able to look over the shoulder of major coding and design experts to see problems through their eyes.

This is not simply another design patterns book, or another software engineering treatise on the right and wrong way to do things. The authors think aloud as they work through their project's architecture, the tradeoffs made in its construction, and when it was important to break rules.
This book contains 33 chapters contributed by Brian Kernighan, KarlFogel, Jon Bentley, Tim Bray, Elliotte Rusty Harold, Michael Feathers,Alberto Savoia, Charles Petzold, Douglas Crockford, Henry S. Warren,Jr., Ashish Gulhati, Lincoln Stein, Jim Kent, Jack Dongarra and PiotrLuszczek, Adam Kolawa, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Diomidis Spinellis, AndrewKuchling, Travis E. Oliphant, Ronald Mak, Rogerio Atem de Carvalho andRafael Monnerat, Bryan Cantrill, Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat, SimonPeyton Jones, Kent Dybvig, William Otte and Douglas C. Schmidt, AndrewPatzer, Andreas Zeller, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Arun Mehta, TV Raman,Laura Wingerd and Christopher Seiwald, and Brian Hayes.
Beautiful Code is an opportunity for master coders to tell their story. All author royalties will be donated to Amnesty International.

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Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly)) + Making Software: What Really Works, and Why We Believe It
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Product details

  • Paperback: 620 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (6 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596510047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596510046
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 18 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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If you want to take your mindset as a developer to the next level, this is a good book.
-- PC Book Review, October 2007

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it seems 15 Dec 2008
Whilst some of the chapters in this book are real gems, the others are irrelevant. The target audience is too wide, too many languages are used and the chances are it won't make you a better programmer.

I would skip this and read a book like Clean Code instead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good, some bad 10 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a very interesting book with some good very clear, thought provoking articles, while others were written by people who were not used to writing. The book suffers from an inconsistant style and some chapters do let it down. Overall you can pick out the chapters that interst you and study them, leaing the other chapters out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite good and revealing 30 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I agree somewhat with what the other reviewers have said, but then you must take into account that there are 30+ authors here, and each one will have very different things to say and as many ways to say it. You could say that an editor should have taken care of equalizing the book, normalizing the styles, but I think that will destroy the spirit of it. It's true that there are many technologies and languages, but I don't think that is a mess, but the obvious result from putting together many great minds from different backgrounds and dealing with many different problems. It won't make you a better programmer, but I don't think that was the target of the book. This is not a cookbook or a book to teach you C++ in 21 days. This is something else. Think of it as an essay (or a collection of) or a documentary series. I still didn't read all articles, and because of the sheer variety and ample scope of the book, I will probably never read them all, but for sure I can tell you some of the chapters are also powerful motivators. With the daily corporate grind, you can get somewhat jaded sometimes with tech, but this is a foray into the joys of problem solving, the eureka moment, the pleasure of coding. For me, not a waste of time, definitely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Insightful 23 Mar 2013
By Michael
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book takes you through several examples of what some top programmers consider beautiful code. As a by-product the book reads more like a collation of articles from a coder's version of Cosmopolitan magazine rather than a programmer's erotic novel. However I cannot complain about this as I did only by the book for a specific chapter. Simon Peyton Jone's article on "Beautiful Concurrency", it is a beautiful read, especially around Christmas time.

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3.0 out of 5 stars get know how to code in elegant way 26 July 2011
By mko
Format:Kindle Edition
Andy and Greg collected quite impressive set of IT related essays and enclosed them within Beautiful Code. These are the texts that refer to various topics and treat them in a hard, engineering way. There is no place for humanity science like stuff. There is quite a loot of examples getting to bare bones of the problems.

During my studies I had to go through all these Kernighans, Ritchies, Knuths, Ahos, Petzolds, and so on. I don't say I didn't liked them however, Beautiful Code reminds me all these books some way. Each problem described is somehow intriguing and innovative while at the same time you can say - hey, I have read that already, somewhere. Don't let me be misunderstood, I value the book, but for me, and for now, it's not the best pick. Hawking wrote once: "Somebody told me, that each equation put into my book will reduce the number of sold copies by two - thus I have referred to just one". Well, Beautiful Code has much, much more than one equation inside.
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