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Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction Paperback – Unabridged, 19 Jun 2004

36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 2 edition (19 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735619670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735619678
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 5.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Steve McConnell is recognized as one of the premier authors and voices in the development community. He is Chief Software Engineer of Construx Software and was the lead developer of Construx Estimate and of SPC Estimate Professional, winner of Software Development magazine's Productivity Award. He is the author of several books, including Code Complete and Rapid Development, both honored with Software Development magazine's Jolt Award.


Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Developing computer software can be a complicated process, and in the last 25 years, researchers have identified numerous distinct activities that go into software development. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Jahanzeb Farooq on 17 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
A very well-written, seminal book on software construction. It very effectively covers almost all of the important topics in software construction. This book partly also served as a revision of my software engineering classes in university. It very effectively, in fact blatantly reminds us that software engineering is all about managing complexity. However at the same time I have to be honest also in that it is not as "must have" as it is often projected. It also comes from the fact that for someone with 3-4+ years of professional experience, this book is not going to offer that much (though still recommended). With some 3.5 years working in industry, I already knew roughly some 70% of things told in this book. For example all those chapters on coding and naming conventions are not going to offer you much if you haven't already learned these things in first few years of your career. Many practices this book recommends are too good that are too obvious and many practices it condemns are too bad that make me wonder if people are really using them. Some chapters are really awesome, like "Design in Construction" and "Working Classes", some are very good such as "Managing Construction", most of them are good such as "Using Conditional" and "Unusual Control Structures", and a few are so so, e.g. "Layout and Style" , "Refactoring". Another problem with this book is that it is unnecessarily long, and verbose. It is composed of 35 chapters. In places it feels too redundant. In my opinion, the size of the book could have cut down by fixing these redundant things. e.g. why to include chapter 34, and why those Checklist sections? Also note that this book is more about coding than programming, e.g., it does not even remotely discuss data structures or algorithm analysis (Big O and stuff) etc.

Summary: Highly recommended to beginners in professional software development, moderately recommended to people with some experience, and not necessarily recommended to veterans.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jennifers Daddy on 5 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Code Complete 2 is another brilliant book from Steve mcConnell. I should have read this years ago when I graduated. It is easy to read despite being fairly chunky. Everything is here you'll need. Designing classes, loops, naming conventions, debugging, testing, refactoring, human factors and loads loads more.
I agree in part with the more negative review on here. Any book is the authors point of view, but Steve mcConnell backs everything he says with data from previous experiments, journals and "famous" successfull/failed projects. There are many compelling arguments in here to change the processes you use to develop and design software. I'm getting my boss to get everyone in the department a copy before our next major project. It's that good!
This needs to be mandatory reading, no excuses.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Michael R. Mcdowell on 2 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
Every professional developer should read this book at least once in their career. It covers almost every aspect of modern software development (from a professional programmers point of view). In particular it adds some perspective to the many competing development methodologies around today. It's also relevant to both lone developers and those working in larger teams.
There's a few odd ommissions e.g. no coverage UML or patterns. However this is "nit picking" as the book as it stands (all 800+ pages) is a worldwind tour 'd force of best proctices within the software development industry.
Oh, and it's also a great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Handley on 6 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I was introduced to this book in 1st edition guise after writing code for about 10 years. I could not put it down it was so gripping. I now have the 1st and 2nd edition; one copy at the office and one at the bedside. I read it again, and again and again and again.

So why is it so good? Why should you get a copy?

This book is not language specific, although there are plenty of coding samples in various popular languages. That is the crux of the matter; good programming habits transcend all languages. This book is packed full of good habits, great nuggets of coding commonsense and Yoda-esque wisdom. You can open this book at any random page and just start reading pure gold.

There are millions more programmers in the world more gifted than I, but I defy any one of them to read this book and not acknowledge it's universal merit and relevance to their art. If you are just starting out, it is even more valuable. Without a doubt, reading this book has had the most profound and lasting influence on how I code and how I think about code. I know I write better, more readable, more maintainable code for having read this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dominicz on 11 July 2007
Format: Paperback
One thing that is never taught through courses, book or programming courses is the "grammar" to use a language. By that I mean, you can use English quite liberally, but to get an impact, to persuade and entice the reader, you need to use the language correctly.

In order to get the best out of your code - from design, structure, documentation, testing, debugging and deployment you'll need to be shown the ropes. Putting it altogether in one place is what this book does and it does it amazingly well!

Full of references to respected software architects and engineers, all of his points are put across in clear, concise language. Points are factually referenced which goes to show the variety of reading material the author went through to get where he is today. The book uses C++, C#, C, VB and Java with benchmarks to show how doing what he says does help.

I bought this book when I was confident with C# and just needed some help with when to refactor, how to comment, how I should use exceptions, optimising loops and other general "grammar" issues.

Very highly recommended for anyone looking to "work smarter - not harder!"
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