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Book Review: Code Complete

I suppose for any serious software engineer one must read Code Complete. Last week I finished it and have been trying to think of how to write a review of it. I’ve decided to do so briefly.

Let me start off by saying I’m excited that I finished it. There is a lot of good information and there is no doubt that it is the standard for sound software developement principles. That being said, remember when you try to tackle this bood that it is a text book. Sure there are some interesting anecdotes about this and that. I suppose I should have been more thrilled about reading it but couldn’t drag myself to pour through it like I have some of my other software books. It took me a year to read Code Complete. During that time I re-read The Belgariad series, The Malloreon series, most of the Song of Ice and Fire series, and read for the first time Pro WPF in C# 2008, Effective C# and I’m almost done with More Effective C#.

So what am I saying? I know there are those of you out there that love Code Complete and read it voraciously like a good fiction novel. I couldn’t even read it like a good code book. Pro WPF in C# 2008 I read like a good fiction novel. I drank it in and loved it. Code Complete I just couldn’t do that with. As I said, it’s sound, solid developement principles I try to apply every day on the job. I learned a lot and will continue to try and apply the princibles of Code Complete. Simply because of that it is a reason to read the book.

If you’re like me and are struggling to get through Code Complete, spread it out, read a chapter and then take a break and read something else. There are 35 chapters in Code Complete. Read a chapter every two weeks, in between other books and it will take you just a bit over a year to read it.

What else can I say? 99% of the book makes perfect sense. Some of the code formatting seemed a bit off but I just let visual studio format my code for me. Ctrl-K + Ctrl-D, Baby!

Read it, grok it, follow it and your code will be better, cleaner and easier to maintain.
That’s all there it to it.