To sum up: a book about being a programmer. It presents common problems and situations as patterns - in the design patterns sense - and includes suggestions and advice on what to do in each case. It distills a lot of great advice and experience into about 130 pages, and I found it very interesting and useful indeed. It's positively contributed to my practices as a programmer, so that's got to be a good thing. Definitely recommended! :)
First things first, I used to love technical books ranging in the 800 page count. Now that I have far less time and competing ambitions, I've developed a soft spot for books and authors capable of cramming a dozen headfuls of ideas in less than 200 pages. So one star awarded for brevity here.
Don't be misled by the title. It does not matter that you might have a long career in IT already, as there is always so much more to learn. This book deals a lot with the software craftmanship prism of things, which can sometimes sound wishy-washy and rosy (well, the book has some load of idealism, but what are we, farmers? we need some of that too?), but it holds plenty of ideas, approaches and suggestions you can take to the office, even if you work in a more stifled hard-nosed corporate environment. Very useful if you are a freelance working for different people, and even more so for those out there who have been working 10 years in the same place and know no other worlds.
It explains what is software craftmanship, so no entry barrier here if you dont know what that is. What about the patterns? well expect no GOF patterns here, but patterns of dealing with people, career patterns, learning patterns, etc. All patterns organized as having a context, a problem, a provided solution, and also an action, or actionable advice, then links and related patterns. So, in that way, a classic pattern book. Code excerpts sometimes help show the ideas, but that's it, codewise.
I tend to judge books on the amount of comments that I write on the margins and squeezed in between the paragraphs, and the underlined ideas you need to come back one year on. This book will no doubt spark a lot of those in you, and you will find situations that no doubt will resonate with experiences you've had in the office or at home, when honing your craft.
Many of the patterns you could say are just "life patterns", as the advice can be easily trasposed out of IT and into any area, just changing the wording. Examples of patterns here that would yield great rewards in anyone's life could be Unleash your enthusiasm, confront your ignorace, Nurture your passion, Read Extensively and many others that I invite you discover by yourself.
this book is one to buy on paper preferably, and to keep near and well-worn.