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Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Steve McConnell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
RRP: £30.99
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Book Description

19 Jun 2004 0735619670 978-0735619678 2

Widely considered one of the best practical guides to programming, Steve McConnell’s original CODE COMPLETE has been helping developers write better software for more than a decade. Now this classic book has been fully updated and revised with leading-edge practices—and hundreds of new code samples—illustrating the art and science of software construction. Capturing the body of knowledge available from research, academia, and everyday commercial practice, McConnell synthesizes the most effective techniques and must-know principles into clear, pragmatic guidance. No matter what your experience level, development environment, or project size, this book will inform and stimulate your thinking—and help you build the highest quality code.

Discover the timeless techniques and strategies that help you:

  • Design for minimum complexity and maximum creativity
  • Reap the benefits of collaborative development
  • Apply defensive programming techniques to reduce and flush out errors
  • Exploit opportunities to refactor—or evolve—code, and do it safely
  • Use construction practices that are right-weight for your project
  • Debug problems quickly and effectively
  • Resolve critical construction issues early and correctly
  • Build quality into the beginning, middle, and end of your project

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Frequently Bought Together

Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction + The Pragmatic Programmer + Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship (Robert C. Martin)
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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: 23.3 x 18.7 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,819 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 (Learn More)
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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandatory 5 Dec 2005
By Jennifers Daddy TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Working smarter - not harder! 11 July 2007
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible for every programmer 18 Dec 2012
By Pavel
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very useful guide for every software developer regardless of the platform or language they use. Every chapter includes effective guidelines and tips that can be applied immediately: just read any chapter, open any piece of your code and you will find something to improve or correct. It's worth buying this best-seller..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I leanrded
Published 10 days ago by anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overall book
Code Complete 2 is a great book covering many aspects of programming. It discusses and explains many fields in software construction that might be seen as small details by other... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kristian Thaulow
5.0 out of 5 stars From apprentice to journeyman
Code Complete is NOT the usual software book.
It is about helping someone make the transition from novice/graduate to professional software engineer although the basic... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Trollslayer
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and surprisingly easy to read.
A great insight into high quality code generation processes. Covering the differing requirements of writing code for games, medical, safety critical, web developement etc.. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jim Coates
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic text on software engineering
Excellent advice from start to finish. Easy to read, and every page is stuffed with great tips. Every developer should read this.
Published 5 months ago by Mr. J. Kelso
5.0 out of 5 stars Requires Effort and Rewards It
This is a big book. Really big. Despite its size, though, it is an easy read and a rewarding one.

I have followed the citations back to some of the studies and books... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sohnee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This a great book and should be bought by any level of programmer. If your a novice, you will keep coming back to this book every time.
Published 10 months ago by themadme
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic book, arguably slightly dated
The original book code complete was almost unique in the breadth of it's coverage and a real asset to those who want to improve. Read more
Published 17 months ago by K. Royle
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting historical retrospective into a bygone era of...
I really enjoy reading books on how to improve my coding. Having read Clean Code, Refactoring: Improving, Pragmatic Programmer, etc, I could not really get rid of the feeling of... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Gianfranco Alongi
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Days
About halfway through this book it reveals itself to be the programmer/systems engineer best practices combo we all need. Read more
Published on 13 July 2012 by Niels Müller Larsen
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