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Ian Chamberlain

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Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code (Object Technology Series)
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code (Object Technology Series)
by Martin Fowler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £30.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's always obvious in retrospect, 13 Dec. 2008
When I first read this book it described a whole lot of practices that I'd been following for years, I just hadn't call it refactoring. I'd find some piece of code that didn't feel right and then I'd tinker with it to improve it. I'd rename variables and methods and rearrange stuff and so on until I felt it was right. I just didn't have a vocabulary to describe what I was doing.
As with other classics the situations and methods that are described here are now considered obvious and simple by many, but that wasn't always the case. This book defined the terms that are now in common use, the code smells, the refactorings, even the word itself. It has provided modern software development with a knowledge and understanding that code isn't developed perfect the first time around, that it is ok to improve it and that it can be done in a safe and controlled manner.
Every developer should read this book at least once. Personally it is one the books that I always keep with me when working.

Design patterns : elements of reusable object-oriented software
Design patterns : elements of reusable object-oriented software
by Erich Gamma
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £28.73

5.0 out of 5 stars The language of software development, 13 Dec. 2008
I've owned this book for a number of years and still refer to it on a regular basis. Although it can be a hard read the value of the content is the common language it has introduced to the industry.
The code constructs in the book were not new even when it was written. In order to qualify as a pattern any particular construct has to be proven as a good solution to a recurring problem. What this book did was describe the best and most commonly used patterns and give them names. Those names have become part of the fundamental underpinnings of modern object orientated software development.
Every software developer should have this book, even if just to be able to understand what everyone is talking about when they mention adapter, facade, factory, composite, visitor and the rest.

Object Thinking (DV-Microsoft Professional)
Object Thinking (DV-Microsoft Professional)
by David West
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.39

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why object thinking is important, 5 May 2004
If you want to understand "Why OO?" then this is the book that does it. This is not a technology flavour of the month cookbook but a serious consideration of the philosophy and principles behind OO and where objects really fit in the world of software development. Although academic in style I found it very readable, but this does not mean it is an easy read. David West unashamedly champions the agile movement and provides a sound theoretical and philosophical basis as to why it should, can and does work, in spite of the loud misgivings of the software engineering establishment. This means that the subject matter takes some serious thinking about. I often found myself re-reading passages just to make sure I really understood what was being said. Some parts struck an immediate chord whereas others were so at odds with everything I've been taught that I battled to overcome the instictive rejection.
I think this book should be read by anyone connected with software development, management included. Even if you don't agree with the author's rationale you'll have a much better idea of how an increasingly large part of the developer community is thinking.

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