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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any serious developer
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.
Published on 8 Mar 1999

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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy on Obfuscatory Text, Light on Content
In the Preface of "Writing Solid Code," Maguire comments that he had never written a book before. Unfortunately, his lack of experience with writing a good technical manual is readily apparent. Much of the text revolves around examples of finding and correcting a bugs in the Macintosh Excel division of Microsoft. The text is awkardly written and his...
Published on 23 Nov 1998


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Food for Thought, 16 Mar 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Solid Code: Microsoft Techniques for Developing Bug-free C. Programs (Microsoft Programming Series) (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book saved my life, 27 Feb 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Solid Code: Microsoft Techniques for Developing Bug-free C. Programs (Microsoft Programming Series) (Paperback)
Writing_Solid_Code and Code_Complete (both from Microsoft Press) are required reading for professional programmers. After reading WSC I revamped both my personal coding style and my overall attitude about writing programs that are safe, reliable and robust. The chapter on assertions is worth it's weight in gold. If were to to hire a programmer today. I would want someone who had read this book and who was enthusiastic about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it., 14 Feb 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Solid Code: Microsoft Techniques for Developing Bug-free C. Programs (Microsoft Programming Series) (Paperback)
I would hand this book to every newly hired programmer in the door, no matter their pedigree. This is the best book on straight ahead programming techniques I have read. Readers will find candid and valuable tips for day to day use, checklists for self-review or peer-review, and concrete examples of the whys and why nots. Worthwhile for newbies to old salts.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book should alter your approach to software development, 1 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Solid Code: Microsoft Techniques for Developing Bug-free C. Programs (Microsoft Programming Series) (Paperback)
First, I think this book is an excellent read. Books of this type are often full of dense content with wildly overdone examples. This often makes it difficult to come away with a good idea of what action to take personally. Steve Maguire does a good job of avoiding this. I found the book easy to read with a few relevant examples used only to support the text. The addition of a few personal anecdotes from Steve's development days at Microsoft added to the character and was used to clarify his arguments.
One note of caution, however: this book was written in 1993 and despite the fact that it is aimed at programmers writing in ANSI C on any platform, I suspect that most readers will be writing for Microsoft Windows. Many of the tactics outlined in the book have been adopted by Microsoft in their C/C++ development tools so you may well already be using some of them. Of course, you may not really know why and I still think this book is required reading. The book also does not cover C++.
I wish I had read this in 1993; seven years later it hasn't had as much impact as it would have then. That said, using some of the techniques described inside, I even found a bug in some code I wrote this morning that might otherwise have remained hidden.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on how good software is developed, 7 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Solid Code: Microsoft Techniques for Developing Bug-free C. Programs (Microsoft Programming Series) (Paperback)
This book is not a programmer's desk reference. Those looking for a how-to tome should look elsewhere. What this book contains is practical advice and lessons learned about software construction and projects. Maguire is a proponent of the theory that good software doesn't just happen - it is the result of good processes, and in this book he explains how to create these processes in your work environment, whether your job is that of a line programmer, a lead programmer, or a software project manager.
It is essential that the reader be able to take specific lessons in the book - like the Macintosh Excel programming project refereneced by another reviewer - and relate them not literally, but in the context of their own problems and projects. This requires independent thought, and may account for some of the bad reviews. I seriously doubt that anyone who rated this book below three stars read and understood it.
A great book and worth every penny.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy on Obfuscatory Text, Light on Content, 23 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Solid Code: Microsoft Techniques for Developing Bug-free C. Programs (Microsoft Programming Series) (Paperback)
In the Preface of "Writing Solid Code," Maguire comments that he had never written a book before. Unfortunately, his lack of experience with writing a good technical manual is readily apparent. Much of the text revolves around examples of finding and correcting a bugs in the Macintosh Excel division of Microsoft. The text is awkardly written and his explanations are often obscure, especially to a beginning "C" programmer. It doesn't help matters that there is no difficulty rating assigned to this book; Writing Solid Code is definiately not written for the amateur, and beginners are unlikely to get much of value out of this text.
I suppose my biggest gripe is that this book is very light on content in comparison to other computer books that are available. A much better book on software engineering is Steve McConnell's "Code Complete," which costs only ten dollars more, and is available from Microsoft Press.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You'll learn a lot more on Usenet's comp.lang.c newsgroup., 14 May 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Solid Code: Microsoft Techniques for Developing Bug-free C. Programs (Microsoft Programming Series) (Paperback)
Maguire doubtlessly had the best of intentions when he authored this book. However, the book is filled with the Microsoft disease of Hungarian notation, obfuscating what might otherwise be acceptable examples. The book is also flawed by DOS-centricity...not surprising, considering the publisher. Also undermining the value of this work is Maguire's apparent desire to rewrite the Standard C language (see his getchar() wrapper). Get the FAQ-list from comp.lang.c. It's better, it's free and doesn't reek with the stench of Redmond.
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