Top critical review
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Intro for the beginner, waste of time for the vet
on 23 July 1998
What I had hoped to find in The Philosophical Programmer was insights into the synergies between philosophy and programming. What I got was yet another introduction to programming, albeit a quality one.
A more accurate title would be Introduction To Programming By a Philosophical Author. In other words, the author has a sound philosophy for describing various aspects of programming (and making them intuitive), but offers no philosophy for a programmer to apply to her or his job.
What I wanted but didn't get was a fresh perspective on what a programmer does and how she or he can apply various philosphies to make them better. For example, Descartes' method of doubt is perfectly suited to coding.
I recommend this book to anyone who needs a general (and soft) introduction to programming. If your a seasoned vet, read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.