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


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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 (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,495 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.


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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

40 of 43 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 TOP 1000 REVIEWER 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 P. Perhac on 2 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
Although I concur with the general opinion that this book is a `must read` for every s/w developer, there are a few points worth noting in the <5*-rated reviews posted here. The book is great and I enjoy spending an hour or two flipping through its pages every now and then, but -- I wish it was searchable like an electronic copy!

The book is disorganised by design. It covers so many aspects of software development that I could hardly make any suggestions for improvement of its structure (judge me not, I am a poor consumer fellow)... Still - it feels kind of discontinuous. It's probably best to just read randomly chosen chapters and mark read passages.

I would personally welcome if every developer had read this book, or at least parts of it, at some point during their career (ideally even during their studies). And, as to what was mentioned not once it other reviews, I support the view that veteran developers probably need not buy this book. They might find it not a very rewarding read.
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6 of 7 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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