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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for beginners but not necessarily for veterans!
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...
Published on 17 Aug 2009 by Jahanzeb Farooq

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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting historical retrospective into a bygone era of development
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 disappointment that this monolith gave me.
The sheer amount of pages needed to convey things that Clean Code gives you in 2 pages or less, is mind numbing.
The archaic idea of focusing...
Published 19 months ago by Gianfranco Alongi


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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for beginners but not necessarily for veterans!, 17 Aug 2009
By 
Jahanzeb Farooq (Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandatory, 5 Dec 2005
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This review is from: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for Professional Software Developers, 2 Jan 2005
This review is from: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Working smarter - not harder!, 11 July 2007
By 
Dominicz (Swindon, Wilts United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible for every programmer, 18 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars If you write code for a living you must read this book, 6 Jun 2011
By 
Stephen Handley (Nottingham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive treatment of software construction, 8 April 2010
By 
This review is from: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (Paperback)
I am very impressed by this book, where I found summarized all the wisdom that I gained from my 10 years experience as an embedded software developer and more. The author deals with the details of software construction, providing useful guidelines about implementation details that improve software quality. Every topic is very well described and organized, and the style is lucid and very readable. This is an absolute must read for both junior and experienced computer programmers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read without `Ctrl+F` facility, 2 Feb 2010
By 
P. Perhac "MasterPeter" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read-Unexpectedly so from this beginner :), 21 Oct 2009
By 
Richard Griffiths "SoulFireMage" (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (Paperback)
The short version of my review: Imagine spending about 20 years in a team who have to figure out all the shortcuts, problems and best ways to build solid programs and code. Then you all decide to put the best and most frequently occurring things into a book or two. This is one of those two books. This way you can find new issues rather than rediscover old ones.

*****************************

I've done little programming. Some Turbo Pascal ten years ago. Just enough to know what an object, method and property is but not much more. Certainly nothing modern. I've opened up Visual Studio and only just linked to a simple table.

This book was highly recommended online, so on a whim I thought I'd give it a shot. I still have to learn the specifics of VB and maybe C++ at some stage.

However, if all you have is the level of knowledge I have, this is an enjoyable read. I covered a lot of ground in the first couple of days and will probably finish it in the next week or two time allowing. The writing style flows well, and makes his points as clear as they can be to a novice. I suspect seasoned developers need this far less of course.

I would highly recommend this be read by anyone who has to take the time to learn any programming for work-or even self interest. Alongside their chosen language tome of course :).

A good book that fits with this is The Pragmatic Programmer by Andy Hunt which is referred to in this. Another well written piece of work.

My comparison is a number of other programming books I've had time to flip through to try and grasp the basics recently. Many are quite difficult to get into at all, purely on style rather than content. Something I've experienced with other text books. The author's voice makes so much difference!

Edit: A few months from this review I've had to code some stuff to make my life easier. Nothing fancy, literally just a form front end that is populated by queries as you move through the interface. The logic of my data and querying is tied to the interface-a bit of a no-no. My coding is still mostly sub routines/functions with a bare bones misceallanous class doing some donkey work (dressing up strings, returning some values etc).

Despite this beginner level of programming, I followed at least some of the notions in the first few chapters of this and Andy Hunt's book, the program itself is very very easy to modify. Naming things, minimal global variables (2 actually) and passing the least amount of data between sub routines as possible (usually 1 or 2 parameters).

So my point is, even if you've just started and only understand the difference between a sub routine and a function or have the vaguest idea of what a class/object is (like me!), this books first chapters are still worth having read whilst you embark on your own learning curve. The process of having done so, will give your mind a useful framework to fall on as you get to grips with the simple end of programming and be a great foundation when you take it further.

Note that the above paragraph implies it's a beginner's level book. It's not-it reaches quite the way through to fairly experienced coders.

In conjunction with the book by Andy Hunt who's specific advice is very readable and enjoyable, the two books would be very much worth any programming student/hobbyists time. Also anyone who has a development department to manage/negotiate with. Simply understanding much of the basics in these two books makes it easier for you to concieve of what/how you would like things to happen-even if it's broad brush.

Andy Hunt's book is The Pragmatic Programmer. The technologies described are nearly a decade out of date-though many still relevant enough to be handy. It's the principles and advice that are priceless.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought I coded nicely... I was wrong., 8 Mar 2007
This review is from: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (Paperback)
Quite an odd book. I can understand why it's so highly rated BUT

reading it cover-to-cover is tedious. However, what sticks in the mind *does* make a difference when coding. If you can't remember the actual advice it's enough of a prompt to dip back into the book.

If the point of the book is to enable a more experienced programmer to create more then it delivers hence the 5 stars I have given it.

However, it's format might put some people off and the first read through for, perhaps, beginners, might be hard going.
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Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell (Paperback - 19 Jun 2004)
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