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Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction Paperback – Unabridged, 19 Jun 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 2 edition (19 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735619670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735619678
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 5.3 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Steve McConnell is recognized as one of the premier authors and voices in the development community. He is Chief Software Engineer of Construx Software and was the lead developer of Construx Estimate and of SPC Estimate Professional, winner of Software Development magazine's Productivity Award. He is the author of several books, including Code Complete and Rapid Development, both honored with Software Development magazine's Jolt Award.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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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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Format: Paperback
The subtitle of McConnell's book is "A Practical Handbook of Software Construction". I have found that it lives up to this claim excellently. Like Brook's classic "The Mythical Man-Month" Code Complete offers practical advice on the real-world challenges of software development. Code Complete contains 33 chapters, which can be read as separate essays.

To entry-level programmers and computer science students, this book is an excellent primer on the fundamentals of the industry. For experienced programmers, this book is an great way to review your own development strategies and best practices. For project managers, Code Complete serves as a great source of ideas for process improvement, as well as a great learning tool to pass on to new entry-level hires. My employer has used several chapters out of Code Complete as the basis for discussion topics.

McConnell writes in an easy-to-read, entertaining style that has made him one of the most popular authors in the field. His book "Rapid Development", is also an extremely popular book on software development, and many (including me) are anxiously awaiting his next work, "Software Project Survivial Guide".
In short, Code Complete belongs in the library of every serious developer.
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Format: 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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Format: Paperback
Reading this book was an eye-opening experience for me! I started programming a couple years ago in BASIC, then I switched to C taking over many of the bad programming style I developed with BASIC. Lately I discovered my interest in programming once again, read through an MFC book and began programming for Windows, a whole new field for me. I always wondered how professional programmers are able to maintain programs that are more complex than Notepad.
I thought it's just the experience and knowledge of almost all the possible (MFC) functions that exist. Code Complete showed me that it's a lot more than that, beginning by designing your program, not just starting to write code right away, up to topics like naming conventions for variables, how to determine what code to put into a routine or how to make your program easier to debug.
Although Code Complete may sound like a very dry book only for expert programmers, it really isn't. Steve McConnell even managed to throw in a lot of amusing anecdotes or witty tests - like the one: "How many of these data structures do you know?". If you checked (almost) ALL of them, you're advised to read the section about intellectual honesty - because some of the data structures are bogus names made up by the author. :)
All in all, I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone , whether you're a professional programmer (for me that is any programmer whose job is programming <g>) or a hobbyist like me, wanting to create the applications you always dreamed of but thought you could never manage it.
Especially interesting for students or anyone trying to start a career as a programmer: this book contains a lot of 'further reading' advices with short descriptions of the books. So this book is also an excellent entry point for those wanting to become a professional programmer and are looking to fill the mind gaps where necessary.
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