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Writing Solid Code: Microsoft Techniques for Developing Bug-free C. Programs (Microsoft Programming Series) Paperback – 1 Jun 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Writing Solid Code is one of the best books for developing a proactive attitude towards electronic entomology. Any programmer worth their silicon knows that it is wiser to invest time preventing bugs from hatching than to try to exterminate them afterwards. Follow Maguire's advice, and your testers, supervisors and customers will love you. --Jake Bond


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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. If you don't find it good, it means that you have not catch the message that the author is trying to deliver. The message is: "As a professional programmer, you must believe in writing low defects code, and have the attitude to do it." All the examples given in the book are of secondary importance. They are merely included to support the idea and show you how you can achieve it. Don't be blinded by the examples and feel that they are not helpful to your particular domain. As the old saying goes, "It is better to teach a person how to fish then to fish for him/her." It is actually not so difficult to teach a person to fish, but to instill in him/her the faith and attitude to fish is the most difficult thing to do. I'm impressed by this book because it attempts to do so.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for anyone serious about developing code. It doesn't say "DO THIS" or "DO THAT" but outines ideas and thoughts on how you can improve your code and write code that should have fewer bugs.
Good examples and easy to read. Even if you do not write in C, this book is a must have.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains practical advice on how to write bug-free code. It covers a large number of guidelines which are generally applicable to all software development projects.
My only caution is that these techniques, when applied by novice programmers, is no doubt the source of much of Microsoft's code bloat. Also, encouraging the programmer to rely heavily on the source-level debugger can prevent developers from getting a real sense of the program's performance on user-level hardware.
Otherwise, a very good book and very useful advice, much of which I've been applying in my own projects.
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By A Customer on 16 Mar. 1997
Format: Paperback
The text starts by asking two questions about bugs found in code:

1) How could I have automatically detected this bug ?

2) How could I have prevented this bug ?

Steve goes on to lay out the process, techniques and guidelines for eliminating bugs. He systematically builds on the ideas and principles from previous chapters. Many of his techniques were new to me but made perfect sense, as if they should be universally embraced without question. He draws on his years of experience at Microsoft, where these techniques are still used today. The guidelines are meant to be integrated into the thought process of the programmer during the design stage. It is here where bugs can be eliminated in the least costly fashion. Many fine examples are provided, including a suite of memory management functions that are ready for deployment. I will definitely be using these principles in my code from now on. A perceptive, deliberate work that will sharpen the programmer's scalpel and pay dividends throughout the development and testing phases.
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Format: Paperback
If you ever thought your code was nice and bug free look again after reading this book and reel in horror. Of course this book also shows how simple it is to fix those simple bugs that catch the unwary. I refer to this book almost as often as the Language Reference.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains simple, practical advice which all software developers can use to write more reliable, maintainable, better tested code. It is very easy to read, and manages to effectively convey the wisdom in what may at first seem like crazy suggestions.

The text covers how to avoid bugs in the first place (by using assertions and sensible API design) and how to use the weapons at your disposal to find them at the testing stage (by stepping through your code in a debugger). It's this final concept in particular in which Steve's ideas are both contrary to the practice of, and most likely to add value to, the majority of developers. If you adopt some of the practices recommended here, you are almost guaranteed to write better code.

As the book says, the rest is attitude. If you're looking at this book, you probably already want to write better code - and there's no better way to do that than to read this.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book.
Ignore some of the other reviews here which complain about Microsoft-centredness: it's not true, the book is about developing a philosophy which helps you to find and prevent bugs, about taking responsibility for driving the bugs out of your code.
I ask everyone who works for me to read this book, and I've used some of its concepts to help frame interview questions when I'm recruiting. It's become part of my way of thinking and I'm certain it helps me and would help any software engineer worthy of the title.
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By A Customer on 17 Sept. 1997
Format: Paperback
I read this book when embarking on some real-time analysis software to run on 8 DSP's in a VME rack.
This is not the sort of system that you can easily single step through to find a bug, so implementing some of the ideas in this book meant most bugs found themselves, which was a huge help.

Thankyou Steve!
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