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The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) Paperback – 1 Jul 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf (1 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356344
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356340
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


""Chad Fowler presents a set of no-nonsense heuristics, disciplines, and attitudes that will teach you how to respect and love your profession--and be great at it."" - Bob Martin, President Object Mentor, Inc.

""This book is solid GOLD! There may be hope for our "unprofession" after all! More power to you!"" - Bruce Langenbach, Independent Agile Software Entrepreneur and Passionate IT Consultant

About the Author

Chad Fowler is an internationally known software developer, trainer, manager, speaker, and musician. Over the past decade he has worked with some of the world's largest companies and most admired software developers. He loves to program computers and, as part of his role as CTO of InfoEther, Inc., spends much of his time solving hard problems for customers in the Ruby language. He is co-organizer of RubyConf, RailsConf, and RailsConf Europe and author or co-author of a number of popular software books.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a lovely little book for your Development Bookshelf. It focuses on a lot of the "soft skills" you need to be a good programmer: not the technical side.

Partly because of the subject matter, but mainly due to the layout and writing style, you will find this an `easy read'. You can open it on a Friday night after a really hard week, and you won't find your mind wandering.

The book is divided up into 52 mini-chapters (it was originally called My Job Went To India: 52 Ways to Save Your Job). [on a side note, if it had been called that I would never have bought it as I don't personally see this off-shoring as a direct threat to the UK development industry. The new title is much better and more accurately reflects the content of the book. For instance, there is no direct guidance in the book about finding new job, in fact there are several suggestions for changing your existing job into an awesome one, if it isn't already.]

The format means you can pick it up and put it down quickly, reading a chapter at a time if you wish - you can get a chapter in during the time it takes a compile a mid-size project. At the end of each chapter are Act on It! tips and suggestions. Having now read the book, these are the points I will be going back to for inspiration. The chapters are diverse: with lots of good ideas about you as a brand, marketing yourself, dealing with people (including managers), and making yourself not only heard, but irreplaceable.

This book keeps you honest. It reminds you that you're important, yes, but you're not that important. However, to yourself, you're the most important, and you need to respect that. The opening sentence of the introduction to this book is: "This book is about finding fullness and happiness in your career".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I consider this book an essential read for any programmer/developer who is serious about his/her craft. As other reviewers have noted, it does focus on more of the 'soft skills' than other tech books I have recommended below, but this is a very important topic, and one that (in my experience as a technical lead) is often under-valued by programmers.

With the rise of Agile methodologies, DevOps and 'polyglot' programming/persistence the people who turn business dreams into reality (programmers/developers) are increasingly expected to work across the entire technology stack. Not only does this bring new challenges (what and how to learn about the options available), but it also moves the developer closer to the requirements gathering process and ultimately the end users. Combine this with the fact that even as a permanent employee you can expect to find yourself working for multiple employers over your career, it really does make career planning and investing in your skills a no-brainer.

I can almost guarantee this book will get you thinking about choices you are making within your career, and it covers topics as diverse as how to choose which technologies to learn, the process of learning technologies and your craft, how to interact with the business and end users, how to market yourself to employers, and how to prevent inertia from affecting your career.

I can't stress enough the value of the personal/career reflection process that this book will generate for you. The cost of the book alone can easily be justified by the potential extra earning you will make in the future, and not only can you make more money, but you'll have fun doing it (which arguably is even more important) .
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Format: Paperback
I really liked the Pragmatic Programmer, it's on my recommended reading page for that reason. So when I saw a new book from the pragmatic bookshelf called "The Passionate Programmer" that promised to show me how to create remarkable career in software development and not just average career - I snapped up the chance to read it.

The book has 5 sections each dealing with an area of being a software professional: Choosing your market, Investing in your product, Executing, Marketing - not just for Suits and Maintaining your Edge. The chapters are short, each only 2-4 pages in length, and deal with a good variety of topics in those broad areas. The chapters are really accessible and easy to read, so it is easy to dip in to when you've got a spare minute or so, the sort of thing you can read while waiting for a project to build in Visual Studio.

I am recommending this book to anyone, whether they're just starting out in software development or they've been doing it for years, whether they're unhappy with where they are in their career or blissfully happy doing what they're doing. That said the advice is applicable outside the world of IT because most of it is just common sense - I found myself nodding along with the ideas thinking to myself "that's obvious, but I'm not actively doing that, maybe I should".

For anyone interested in self improvement, getting on with their careers and not being content to drift where things take them this book has ideas and suggestions on how to take control of your career and make something remarkable.
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