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on 7 January 1999
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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on 24 September 1998
If you've just started programming professionally, you must read this book. Chances are you haven't learned to program defensively in any of your classes - this book will tell you how, so that your programs will last, with fewer bugs, less maintenance - solidity. Veteran programmers will probably be pretty familiar with the info this book has to offer though.
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on 14 February 1997
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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on 18 March 1999
This book should be required reading for every college graduate. It teaches real world programming techniques which should be in every C/C++ programmers bag of techniques. If more junior programmers would read and understand this book, I'd spent a lot less time debugging thier code when they just can't find some "obscure" bug.
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on 23 November 2004
I'm a .NET developer and am just re-reading this now and I have to say its still quite relevant, your hearing great great advice on how to look at things and that cant be bad.
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on 25 October 2015
This is a great book. It is a little dated now and requires the reader to sort the still-valuable information from the now-dated. In the hands of a software professional this is a valuable read.
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on 23 November 1998
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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on 14 May 1997
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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