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The Developer's Code: What Real Programmers Do

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  306 ratings  ·  40 reviews
The Developer's Code isn't about the code you write, it's about the code you live by. There are no trite superlatives here. Packed with lessons learned from more than a decade of software development experience, author Ka Wai Cheung takes you through the programming profession from nearly every angle to uncover ways of sustaining a healthy connection with your work. You'll ...more
ebook, 142 pages
Published February 2012 by The Pragmatic Programmers
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Stefan Kanev
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's an awesome book!

Some of the ideas you can already find in other Pragmatic Bookshelf books, but it is still a great read. If you're an experienced programmer, you will get challenged by some of the ideas. If you're not, you'll get some good insight on where our industry is (or ought to be).

The writing, in particular, is great.
Tudor Ștefănescu
Sep 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
well, maybe it gets better after essay 22 but I decided to stop there - a lot of general stuff most of it already present in other / older / better books like "The Pragmatic Programmer" or "Code Complete" or .. whatever. ...more
James Griffin
Jun 24, 2011 rated it liked it
The book follows the 37signals style of cramming lots of mini-essays, each of which provides some inspiration or insight, into a relatively short book in the attempt to cover a lot of ground. Whilst it reads well, some of the chapter divisions seem fairly arbitrary and many run on to each other. In my eyes, this seems to reduce the number of insights since many chapters cover the same basic ideas, so don't expect to take exactly 50 ideas away from the book.

The book varies between being a fairly
Daniel Pretorius
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book it's self was very insightful not only to programming but on how to approach many areas when confronted by a problem. I enjoyed all aspects of this book and the structure made it interesting to read.

I would look forward and motivated to work in the industry after reading this.
Wellington Watt
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Take home is that coding is very different from developing a building where the later requires details specifications because changes would require breaking physical structures and rebuilding them, but codes are malleable and can be changed quickly and easily and refactoring is too early in code development is not necessarily a wise choice. When possible create code generators to that Developement work could begin from a scaffolded structure.
Aiman Adlawan
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Its very ideal for junior developers. Especially to those who are just starting their career on tech industry. It will give them idea about the work process, ethical relationships with co-workers, how to handle projects specially in terms of writing codes and maintaining codes.
Its a great tech book. To too technical. Just right on the surface for easy grasp.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
loved the idea that falling too deep into a metaphor can shape the way we think about the real thing at hand. Some ideas within were provocative and radical given my experience in development. Some were confirmation of what we all know should be true but goes awry.
Mohammad Elsheimy
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: programming
Stopped at 22%. Lots of essays and boring stories. Time-waste.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Definitely not bad, definitely not "Soft Skills". ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I imagine for someone wondering if programming is for them, the book may be very interesting. For me it was full of cliches and too long metaphors.
Peter Sichevsky
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Only took me three attempts over five years to get through it, but I feel like I actually picked up a few things.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer-science
Has a lot of truth but didn’t feel like anything new.
Sean Klingler
Mar 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: technical
Overall, I like the authors writing style. But writing about things like customer interaction or dealing with project managers like a hardened veteran and only possessing less than 15 years of experience does not impress me.

I've been at it 25 years. There were things that might work well in his company, but not places I've worked.

For instance, his two hours of closed time for a developer. It's more than other developers interrupting me in my day. I'm the only one that knows certain areas of code
erjan avid reader
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I only read about 4 essays out of all 32. Most of the advice is banality.
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Someone just finishing school and considering a career in programming will probably benefit the most from reading The Developer’s Code. As stated in the book’s subtitle the author, Ka Wai Cheung, does write about “What Real Programmers Do”, or at least his experiences as a web-software-application-developer and designer.
Of the topics relating specifically to programming I was able to identify with many of the dilemmas mentioned by Cheung. I was, however, expecting more war stories and practical
Erika RS
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: software, owned
If you're looking for an easy read on the essence of being a programmer, this is a good candidate. The book is not about official title or getting a paycheck, but about the patterns of thought and behavior that are common among programmers who love their craft. Like patterns in general, these are not strict proscriptions about what you must do or think to be a "real" programmer but ideas and illustrations.

The book is organized into themes, each of which contains a number of short essays. Most of
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: computing
This was not so much a book as a collection of essays that meander through a whole raft of topics relevant to modern professional development. Along the way, Cheung explains his thoughts on topics as varied as Client Relations, Code Generation, The Dreyfus Model of Skills Acquisition as it applies to teaching programming, "Off-Time" and a lot more.

On the whole it is an entertaining and lightly inspiring read, the sort of book that can help us to remember what we loved so much about this industry
Mike Nguyen
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a collection of short essays which each has its own essence in relation to programing principles, programmer's behavior, mentoring staffs, tactics on handling client and do a more practical work. It could be read in any order hence it's important to take some note on which essay topic that you are going to refer to if you like me use the audio version.

Even through, author has deep knowledge on front end development such as web and mobile, it still could be extent easily to full sta
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Beginning Programmers
Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to what it means to not only be a programmer but what it takes to be a *great* programer. With that in mind when I saw "The Developer's Code: What Real Programmers Do" I got very excited. There are lots of good bits of information in this book. It isn't as abstract as "Pragmatic Programmer's" or as detailed as your typical "how to code" book of syntax. It attempts a somewhat middle ground, sort of like conversations with Senior Programmers on what should ...more
Colin Miller
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
So far I'm finding the book to be a nice reminder of some things I already know with a few hints on things to do better. Mostly I enjoyed the sections on motivation and productivity. The book is easy to read and has some real-world examples that are actually relatable. I like how the author adds some stories from his own life that can frankly mirror some of my own. It seems pretty down-to-earth in the writing style; like he's writing to a colleague rather than for a book. While that may turn som ...more
Nathan Glenn
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
This book had some interesting thoughts. I enjoyed the comparisons between writing code and being an author/artist, and his observation that the metaphor comparing software engineers to engineers and architects of physical materials leads to false ideas and bad practices. I also enjoyed the notes about software creation being a healing craft. But for the most part, the book didn't seem to add anything special to the Pragmatic Programmers series. The Pragmatic Programmer covered many things bette ...more
Angus Ng
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is very easy to read. It reads my developer's mind and help me to motivate myself as being a developer. I guess you will most out of it if you are an experienced developer. The only thing I don't like is the last few chapters. As I think the author uses too much content to deliver the message, which in short, it's pretty much saying create your own tool if you can't find a suitable one out there. But it feels like the author is trying to promote his framework invented by his company. I ...more
Sundeep Kamath
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technical
This book is on the lines of The Pragmatic Programmer (by Andrew Hunt and Dave Thomas).
The author talks of his own experiences and learnings as a developer and shares his thoughts on productivity, motivation , dealing with clients , how to tackle complexities in a software environment etc....
A very nicely compiled book that's easy to read all through.
Benjamin Torres
Feb 13, 2015 rated it liked it
The book is divided into small essays that suggest and advise things to do and avoid when programming, generally not in a technical way, but more in a state of mind and the way in wich we should aproach a programming challenge. Although some of the essays were good ideas that made me consider to change the ways in which I work, most of them were too repetitive and not that helpful.
Janne Sinivirta
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Short essays from one developer who seemed a bit too inexperienced to write this book. Lots of sensible tips for junior developer. But also lots of one-sided, too simplified or plain wrong suggestions. What bothered me most was how totally anecdotal everything was, like absolutely no research would have been done for the book.
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Copyright is 2012, exposed me to some software technologies which will prove to be useful. Book has 141 pages, not 250. An index of some key terms for future lookup would have been good (eg Red Gate, Jenkins, ORM)
Neville Ridley-smith
Jul 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: technical
This book is worth a read but don't expect anything too exciting.

Some of it's quite good and worth taking note of. Too much of it, however, feels like motherhood statements and opinion without any rigorous basis.

Quick read though - so ignore what you want to and make use of the good stuff.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For me there wasn't a lot of news from this book. But Ka Wai Cheung confirmed most of my thoughts about programming in general, and it's a nice feeling knowing I think alike with a guy ho writes a book about it. ...more
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good book in the developer philosophy genre. Won't become a classic, but worth the read – I picked up few ideas or ways to explain ideas I already had. ...more
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