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The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers (Robert C. Martin) Paperback – 13 May 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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  • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship (Robert C. Martin)
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Review

“‘Uncle Bob’ Martin definitely raises the bar with his latest book. He explains his expectation for a professional programmer on management interactions, time management, pressure, on collaboration, and on the choice of tools to use. Beyond TDD and ATDD, Martin explains what every programmer who considers him- or herself a professional not only needs to know, but also needs to follow in order to make the young profession of software development grow.”

–Markus Gärtner

Senior Software Developer

it-agile GmbH

www.it-agile.de

www.shino.de

 

“Some technical books inspire and teach; some delight and amuse. Rarely does a technical book do all four of these things. Robert Martin’s always have for me and The Clean Coder is no exception. Read, learn, and live the lessons in this book and you can accurately call yourself a software professional.”

–George Bullock

Senior Program Manager

Microsoft Corp.

 

“If a computer science degree had ‘required reading for after you graduate,’ this would be it. In the real world, your bad code doesn’t vanish when the semester’s over, you don’t get an A for marathon coding the night before an assignment’s due, and, worst of all, you have to deal with people. So, coding gurus are not necessarily professionals. The Clean Coder describes the journey to professionalism . . . and it does a remarkably entertaining job of it.”

–Jeff Overbey

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

The Clean Coder is much more than a set of rules or guidelines. It contains hard-earned wisdom and knowledge that is normally obtained through many years of trial and error or by working as an apprentice to a master craftsman. If you call yourself a software professional, you need this book.”

–R. L. Bogetti

Lead System Designer

Baxter Healthcare

www.RLBogetti.com

From the Back Cover

Even bad code can function. But if code isn't clean, it can bring a development organization to its knees. Every year, countless hours and significant resources are lost because of poorly written code. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Noted software expert Robert C. Martin presents a revolutionary paradigm with "Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship." Martin has teamed up with his colleagues from Object Mentor to distill their best agile practice of cleaning code "on the fly" into a book that will instill within you the values of a software craftsman and make you a better programmer-but only if you work at it.
What kind of work will you be doing? You'll be reading code-lots of code. And you will be challenged to think about what's right about that code, and what's wrong with it. More importantly, you will be challenged to reassess your professional values and your commitment to your craft.
"Clean Code" is divided into three parts. The first describes the principles, patterns, and practices of writing clean code. The second part consists of several case studies of increasing complexity. Each case study is an exercise in cleaning up code-of transforming a code base that has some problems into one that is sound and efficient. The third part is the payoff: a single chapter containing a list of heuristics and "smells" gathered while creating the case studies. The result is a knowledge base that describes the way we think when we write, read, and clean code.
Readers will come away from this book understanding
How to tell the difference between good and bad codeHow to write good code and how to transform bad code into good codeHow to create good names, good functions, good objects, and good classesHow to format code for maximum readabilityHow to implement complete error handling without obscuring code logicHow to unit test and practice test-driven developmentThis book is a must for any developer, software engineer, project manager, team lead, or systems analyst with an interest in producing better code.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I feel a bit intimated by this book. 20 hours a week self-study, regular stern programming exercises, rigorous test driven development. Do more, do better, do it now.

No-one can doubt that esteemed author Uncle Bob Martin does all this and more. But what about programming mortals? Should we aspire to join the programming Gods and follow the advice of this book or should we just run away and hide underneath a faded Metallica T-shirt?

The book is well written, engaging and food for thought. It's its hectoring quality I object to. Besides, if you want to know how to write better software read Rapid Development by Steve McConnell. Genuinely helpfully advice not just relentless polemic.
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Format: Paperback
This book is best described as a list of "pet peeves" by the authors. I stress that this book is mainly written by a collection of authors - and not Robert C. Martin - because this is not stated in any promotional material and appears as an unwelcome surprise in the introduction of many chapters.

The first chapter pledges a lot and is very motivational - continuing the promise of the back cover "you will be challenged to think about what's right about that code, and what's wrong with it. More importantly, you will be challenged to reassess your professional values and your commitment to your craft." However, for the remainder of the book, the authors never quite get out of their individual rants and fail to provide any great insights beyond the obvious - concluding with a collection of scattergun practices that are more elegantly described in other books.

The value of the second part of the book - described as "several case studies of increasing complexity" - is not particularly evident. I found the Arg (first) and SerialDate (last) cases to be needlessly long. Everything there could be described in isolation. I had expected the second part of the book to be left as a series of short examples for the reader to work on - in the style of Java Puzzlers - but alas, it was a tour of some recent open source contributions that the author wishes to share with the reader.

The section on Concurrency was particularly shocking. The author appears completely oblivious to "Java Concurrency in Practice" by Doug Lea - discussing the 1999 predecessor by introducing it alongside a derogatory statement about maturity. Not only are the concurrency chapters skin deep, but I question why these chapters even made it into this book. Further evidence that the authors set out with no specific agenda when compiling the book, and have ended up with repetitive, sweeping generalisations that deliver only wholesale value across the board.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book, and one which any developer will learn a great deal from. In most respects, it is a five-star book, but... the title is misleading. By rights it should be called "Clean Java Code".

Let me explain: I am an ActionScript developer, and bought this book to improve my code style and structure. For the most part, it has done that: the chapters on naming, comments, functions and classes are absolutely superb. But then, huge swathes of the book are devoted exclusively to Java, and use some fairly complex (and, in my opinion, not very well formatted) code to convey their intention.

I don't generally have a problem with using Java-oriented books to learn more general programming concepts (Martin Fowler's "Refactoring" and O'Reilly's Head-First Design Patterns are both books I would recommend to anyone, regardless of their language-of-choice), but around 1/3rd of Bob Martin's book is virtually impenetrable to anyone who does not already have significant Java experience.

That said, I should re-iterate that this book will be hugely valuable to any programmer. I just wish that they had tried to use a little more pseudo-code and a little less real-world examples, with all of the complexities entailed, and I think a lot could have been done to make the Java code more readable for users of other languages.
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Format: Paperback
Clean Code is a valuable book for any programmer's bookshelf. Although a lot of the information can be found in other books on software development, particularly those covering "agile" techniques, the text brings everything into one place with a very readable and enjoyable style. I could've done with this about fifteen years ago, rather than learning many of the lessons the hard way over the years.

The book does have some minor issues though. As mentioned by a previous reviewer, it uses Java exclusively for the examples and assumes you are an experienced Java developer. Some of the examples can be heavy going for those unfamiliar with the language.

The book could also do with a bit more proof-reading. Ignoring a copyright of 2009, the words "it's" and "its" seem to have been swapped throughout the book, "an" replaces "and" in a handful of sentences, and there are even some words in the text that are completely wrong. A bit of shame considering.

Don't let the Java or proof-reading put you off though.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Code blocks in the Kindle version of this book are rendered in a variable-width font, which detracts from their readability. Since the code samples are a very important part of the book, I can't award this a high rating if they are so difficult to read. Code should always be in a fixed-width font.

Also, the occurrence of grammar errors and odd typos is frequent enough to be distracting and irritating. At one point, "startlingly" is written "star-tlingly". Errors that stick out like a sore thumb indicate that this was not proof-read.
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