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Best Practices of Spell Design [Kindle Edition]

Jeremy Kubica
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £4.66
Kindle Price: £1.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

A tale of programming and software best practices from the Computational Fairy Tales universe.

In all his years as a wizard, Marcus has never seen a spell cause this much damage. When Hannaldous's sloppy attempt at a shield spell accidentally curses the castle, the walls start crumbling at an alarming rate. Now Marcus and his apprentice Shelly must figure out how to repair the damage before the castle turns to dust. Along the way they will encounter gossiping worms, perfectionist bakers, opportunistic rabbits, and copious amounts of mold.

The Best Practices of Spell Design introduces practical aspects of software development that are often learned through painful experience. Through Marcus and Shelly’s quest, the story encourages readers to think about how to write readable, well-tested and maintainable programs. Readers will discover the importance of comments in recipes, the value of testing potions, the dangers of poorly named ingredients, the wonders of code reviews in magic libraries, and the perils of premature optimization.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 724 KB
  • Print Length: 138 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B5CVXSU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,326 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent fantasy story for children, that incidentally talks about how to be a professional - with examples particularly relevant to software development.

This is a story that explains why commenting code, and modular program design etc. are important. It is best given to a child who has already started programming. Or perhaps to an adult amateur programmer who is unlikely to finish tomes like Code Complete (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Code-Complete-Practical-Handbook-Construction/dp/0735619670) or The Pragmatic Programmer (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pragmatic-Programmer-Andrew-Hunt/dp/020161622X) but still wants the essense of good practice.

Pros
* Very easy to read, and engaging - especially for secondary school children. Works very well just as a story, even if the reader didn't care about software development. There is character development, humour and actual emotions. Despite the title, this is no textbook.
* The 'code' examples were fantastic, very simple indeed.
* Best practices are universal. They apply in any programming language and in any programming environment.
* Best practices are real and practical and can be put to immediate use.
* Best practices sometimes demonstrated in accounting or bakery. This shows how professional behaviour is very similar across different professions.
* They are pretty obvious, but you are not walloped with them at each point. Each one serves to drive the story on.
* Excellent kindle formatting.
* Nice to see a female protagonist

Con
* Very very light on actual software development concerns. It won't give someone much of a headstart.
* Very short. I wanted more!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Spells to improve your code 28 Sept. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book illustrates various good practices of software design through a sequence of vignettes set in a fantasy world of wizards, where spells (and bakery recipes, and accountancy) have a distinctly computational nature.

I enjoyed this, but found nothing particularly deep here. I realise that I am not the right audience for the book, since I have come across (and try to use!) all the techniques illustrated, from comments and named constants to problem decomposition and test driven requirements.

However, I am not entirely sure who the right audience might be, given the wide range of subjects covered. Apprentice programmers will not get some of the later material; those more experienced should already know the earlier. Maybe it is for those self-taught (rather than apprenticed) hackers, who have never come across these concepts? If so, this is a fun, and memorable, was to illustrate good practice.
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By Andrew Dalby VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not a book about magic and spells as you should already know, but a spell gone wrong is used as an example of what can go wrong with bad coding. It covers all of the essential elements of commenting, sub-routines and towards the end testing, unit testing and making sure that there is proper documentation. Using the story format actually makes you want to read about what can be a very dry subject. Every programmer knows what they should be doing but authors have struggled to make it compelling or a fun read. This book manages to do that and it is an ideal accompanying text for any programming course.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for adults learning computer science. 4 Sept. 2014
By Redoxon
Format:Paperback
This is on the reading list in the local secondary schools. However, at 30yo, I'm learning computer science and coding - I grabbed this to help me build a great foundation.
Brilliant decision on my part because this makes the concepts so easy to understand AND remember!

Adult learning computer science? Nab this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesomazing 28 April 2014
By Marius
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
what the title said
this book taught you everything you need to know on program optimisation which really helped me.
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