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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars7
3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 17 November 2007
The whole premise of this book is to help the reader understand and improve the development choices they make on a second by second basis. This is not a book about guidelines but rather explaining why a variable name is better named one way or the other. All of this is for the very valuable goal of making the code easier to read for a future maintainer.

While the idea itself is brilliant the book itself feels very disjointed. The choices are presented entirely in text format and the density of the information is very high. This makes for a potentially very valuable reference book, but it is equally hard to read. Its not that the book is terse but rather that the level of explanation is not good enough and the sections either waffle or are so rich in things unsaid its hard to understand the reasoning.

If you are new to programming Java then this book may well introduce the low level patterns a lot of the old hands are used to, all be it you'll need to read this one a few times for any of it to sink in. For the old hands it feels like an abstract view of everything you have been doing for a decade and while there may be new things in there, its going to be hard to spot them.
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on 8 November 2009
The book has a title which says 'patterns' and is a size, layout and style which is ideal for discussing generalized design patterns. It has very few code snippets, few concrete details and very few sections have even a single example. This would be okay if a little frustrating if the book were about design patterns; the absence of implementation detail could be explained as an attempt to avoid distraction from the general principles. The problem is that this is not a book about design patterns; it is a book about writing good code. As such the essay style of the book and lack of detail and examples is inappropriate to the subject covered and is the major factor in its failure to be value for money.

At its core this book says that code should be written to convey your intent to another programmers; not only the computer. If this is a new or novel idea to you then this book might be worth skimming through. Yet will need to read other books such as Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship (Robert C. Martin) to find practical advice on how to write good, clear, code. If you already know that good code is written to convey intent to other programmers then this book will be a great disappointment as it provides insufficient examples or practical details.
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on 11 December 2014
A masterclass in how to write quality code and essential reading for senior developers. As with any masterclass its a very personal series of insights and the focus is on communicating high level principles and concepts rather than learning specific language features or libraries. For this reason the advice is grouped into broad areas, rather than the sequential progression you would have in (for example) a learning Spring MVC or learning ASP .NET book.

If you are starting out in IT and still learning syntax or core concepts then this is not an appropriate book. But if you are an experienced developer trying to improve your craft then its a must have.
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on 24 April 2012
This is an interesting read. I liked the most the parts about code readibility. So, being a good book, why do I remove 1 star?

First, the price is too high for a book with less than 200 pages. The author does have a lot more things to say than this, and could have explained better the ones about he does talk. Also, I hadn't read anything from Beck and I hoped better. Prefer borowing it than buying it.
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on 7 February 2009
This is typical book by this guy. It promises so much but delivers very little. I know a few people that rave about this book, but it was lost on me. I've read a few books by this author and I think he's quite poor. He maybe a truely excellent developer (for all I know), but as an author he doesn't seem to understand that his content is lacking. His books are normally too short and the each topic is too thinly covered. There's way too much abstract drivel.

When I saw the contents it looked just like focused on the subjects I would benefit from. I've been in software development for over 20 years and during that time I've spent a lot of evenings working through various texts and I can tell you, this one wasn't worth it!

I've also scanned through his Test Driven Development book and thought I would give that one a miss too. Sorry, but not a fan!
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on 25 May 2009
Interesting reading in a way, but I think the book is too abstract. Not enough code examples. It is difficult to convey this sort of knowledge without giving concrete examples of when to use and not use it.
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on 26 November 2015
One of the best book i have ever read!
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