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The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  14,505 ratings  ·  802 reviews
-- Ward Cunningham Straight from the programming trenches, The Pragmatic Programmer cuts through the increasing specialization and technicalities of modern software development to examine the core process--taking a requirement and producing working, maintainable code that delights its users. It covers topics ranging from personal responsibility and career development to ...more
Paperback, 321 pages
Published October 30th 1999 by Addison-Wesley Professional (first published October 20th 1999)
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Vatsal Ambastha It's a great book, hands down. I rate it 5/5.

Having said that, it is not a very advanced book. Much of what it speaks would have become a part of…more
It's a great book, hands down. I rate it 5/5.

Having said that, it is not a very advanced book. Much of what it speaks would have become a part of ones' programming common sense if they have been writing code for 5 years or so.

But it still does a good job of strengthening the readers beliefs formed by experience. I found myself thinking often "Yeah I knew this, but they really stress on the importance, so it must be important"

I picked up "Clean Code"by Robert Martin after this, hoping it goes into more depth.(less)
Cuong Tran You might want to at least started working in the industry for a while. I read it before working professionally and lots of things didn't really make…moreYou might want to at least started working in the industry for a while. I read it before working professionally and lots of things didn't really make sense to me, but re-read it after 1 year have given me enough context to understand the advises given.(less)

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Tamara Temple
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While many complain about already knowing everything in the book, or that it's outdated, I believe they are quite missing the point. Perhaps this book didn't speak to you at the point you are at in developing your skills and crafts, but it might speak to someone else just beginning. Rating the book low for the reason it wasn't what you needed is rather disingenuous, as a rating should be a guide to the quality of the book overall.

The information contained in this book is essential for software
Oct 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Ken-ichi by: Otis Chandler
Shelves: learning, software
This is essentially a self-help guide for programmers, the kind of book that enumerates the habits of Good and Happy People and makes you feel slightly guilty about not practicing most of them, but probably won't result in you forsaking your evil ways and stepping on the path toward Nirvana. Hunt and Thomas are friendly but occasionally annoying gurus. Their cloying metaphors (boiled frogs, etc) and kitsch jokes are offputting, and some of their advice borders on insult. One assumes that when ...more
Todd N
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I no longer have any need for mentors or friends now that I have AVClub (the AVQ&A and "Gateways to Geekery" columns in particular), Quora, and Stack Overflow.

Case in point: That I found this book. Over the past couple of years I have been gradually writing and less-gradually maintaining a code base for separate projects. It's getting the point where I might as well figure out what the hell I'm doing. So I go to Stack Overflow and find my way to a question like "What programming book do you
Amir Tesla
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: computer-science
A must-read for any developer who yearns to fine-tune their craft.
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: recent graduates
(4.0) Good for new programmers

This seems to be a favorite in the office, so before I participating in the recommending of this book to new hires, I figured I should check it out first. There is definitely some good stuff in here, but most won't be new for anyone who's been programming professionally for 2 or 3 years or more. I think most engineers' problems is that they don't do what they know is the right thing.

I think many people have said this before, but at the risk of duplication I'll say
Mark Seemann
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: software
Who is this book for?

Certainly not for experienced, skilled software developers. Considering myself at least experienced, I found most of the material in this book a rehash of methodologies and techniques I've used for more than a decade. Granted, there were a few gems here and there, but mostly I was bored because I didn't learn anything new.

One has to respect that this book is from 1999, so in that perspective, it must have been quite ground-breaking. Had I read it in 1999, I wouldn't have
Tim O'Hearn
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For a total beginner, the concepts will be difficult to internalize. For a seasoned programmer (on a good team...), it will be little more than a general reinforcement. While it's hard to imagine the right time in one's career to read the The Pragmatic Programmer (probably, often), it's a classic. It's written at a high enough level that very little material is outdated. In fact, some of the arguments ring much truer now than they would have in 1999.

See this review and others on my blog
Jason Kittredge
Oct 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite non-technical tech book. It explores good software development practices. In my opinion it is more than just a checklist of what you should do - it literally changed my approach to development with positive results.

Others have mentionned that they already knew most of the things in this book, and practice these good habits in their development environments. I've worked in dozens of environments ranging from very successful experienced companies, to fly-by-night operations
May 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: software
I didn't like the structure of the book. Some of the concepts were vaguely presented. I was also bored a little bit while reading it.

Some notes
Chapter 1. A Pragmatic Philosophy
Tip 3: Provide Options, Don't Make Lame Excuses
Before you approach anyone to tell them why something can't be done, is late, or is broken, stop and re-evaluate
Tip 4: Don't Live with Broken Windows
Don't leave "broken windows" (bad designs, wrong decisions, or poor code) un-repaired
Tip 5: Be a Catalyst for Change
Start with
May 15, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: programming
In fact, it's a good book... if you're just beginning to program. I've just read it late, so it contains nothing new to me. I can't imagine that there are software developers who don't know about practices described in this book. Besides, it's already outdated (RCS? Really?).

As to Russian edition of this book, it's translated very badly, it's almost unreadable.
Povilas Balzaravičius
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have changed my job after reading this book. So be careful :-)
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Today is the age of pragmatic programmers not programmers. What it takes to turn a programmer into a pragmatic programmer is subtly described in this book. Although it is primarily intended to be read by programmers, what I found down the line was an invaluable set of insights for life alongside programming. It's not even an overestimation to say at some points the psychological side of this book takes precedence over its programming side. We're primarily programmers of our lives, so ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must read for Developers/Testers/Managers/Technical writers.....
Barbara Notte
It is a great book every software developer, architect, designer or even QA engineer should read. It focuses on principles and giudance so it may feel like it MISSES some level of details.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The beautiful thing about a book like The Pragmatic Programmer is that it sparks ideas when you read it. Can you do something more efficiently? Can you do it more elegantly? Can you make the computer do the work instead?

I like to think that I already ask myself those questions all the time. Nevertheless, I found myself reading a page or two and then having to stop because I was having a great idea and needed to write it down. I filled six sheets of letter-size paper with dense, cryptic notes.
Miguel Duarte
Dec 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Pragmatic Programmer is centered on good programming practices. It is very well written and is able to persuade you to want to change your habits and behavior. I intend on re-reading this book on a regular basis (anually, perhaps) because there is certainly a learning and adaptation curve to all the techniques that are introduced. Although I do use some of them on my day-to-day work, it's very difficult to start using every single tip at once, so I'll introduce them gradually on my working ...more
Harshil Lodhi
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great non technical book that goes into codifying the good practices about software development. It is a must read for neophytes in software industry with a couple of years of experience.
If you have worked or are working in a good team and good project, you can easily relate back and forth about the goof things that are talked about.

It is simple to read, still relevant in 2016 and is worth investing couple of weeks to read this if you are aspiring to be a pragmatic programmer.
Otis Chandler
Dec 05, 2006 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: programmers
This was a great book for programmers to read. It had a lot of very general, yet very useful advice for programmers. I loved the broken window theory of programming. Malcolm Gladwell argues the same theory cured New York's crime wave in the 90's in Blink
Georgi Pachov
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Terrific book.

Great thing explained in the most pragmatic way possible. Due to its usage of metaphors, easy-to-read language, it read like a breeze.

I might have forgotten some of the great stuff in it, might actually reread it soon.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
chicken soup for the programmer's soul
Viljami Kuosmanen
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Re-read it recently, first time maybe 10-12 years ago. Some parts are still relevant today.
Kyaw Kyaw Soe
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
it was a great experience reading this book, i really love how the author explain hard programming jargons with easy to understand real life examples, frequently I quote some paragraphs from this book to my manager which it no from IT field and he understands it better when I use examples from this book.
Benyamin Noori
Feb 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
It's a great book if you're a comp. sci. sophomore in 1995.
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I can gush enough about this book.

It's the kind of thing I unconsciously resist reading because I know of all the guilty feelings it could provoke. Well, one thing I can tell you is that it's not like that at all. Oh actually, yes it is. The first chapter starts off gently reminding you that you should be constantly learning new things, for example, a new programming language every year (not necessarily because you want to have mastery of that language, but because it's good to
Ionut Ciuta
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dev
What an interesting book! Definitely a worthy read and for sure a book I will revisit in the future - mostly because I filled it with post-it notes.

Does this book provide some ground-breaking ezotheric knowledge regarding software development? 100% no.

It's a very... pragmatic book, oozing with arguments in favor of common sense practices which should be used in all projects, no matter the scale or purpose. It can also be quite funny at times. Some chapters are a bit stale - chapter 3 "The Basic
Fábio Bertinatto
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The authors made a really good job here. They conduct the reader through a solid line of thinking, pointing out mistakes that even experienced engineers use to make.

The book has a good size, however, I would like to see a shorter Resources section - much of its content is outdated - and more real-life examples upon the main concepts.

Finally, I wish I had read this book back when I started my programming journey.
Luiz Nunes Marques
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Reviewing after 4 years after reading it: doesn't matter the hype, continues to be a masterpiece.
All those now-buzzwords have came from here: DRY, Crash Early, Return Early, Don't live with broken windows, etc, but you can understand the solid foundations behind it.
It tells about coding and programming conduct as a craft and an art. You will see some tips that are closely related and spoken in the agile manifesto too, not by coincidence :-)
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not great. This book aged really weirdly and it explains itself when you realize theres a bullet pointed list in the back that they probably just created fluff around.

There are a whole bunch of stand out weird suggestions the book has, but I think my major problem with it is that it rambles back and forth into light level technical things and sort of wastes time there. That and the section about how source control is good. And that weird section on how oh my god u just gotta know all the
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: computing
Is there a point to reviewing a technical book that is now 20 years old? Probably not, in most cases. However, this is a book that is still highly recommended by a large number of people.

I'm not really sure why.

Independent of the age of the book, I simply don't think it is particularly good. Sure, the technical information is often out of date, but given the style of the book, this isn't much of a problem. There are a number of issues with the book that absolutely are problems, however:

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see also Andrew Hunt

Andy Hunt is a programmer turned consultant, author and publisher.
He co-authored the best-selling book "The Pragmatic Programmer",
was one of the 17 founders of the Agile Alliance, and co-founded
the Pragmatic Bookshelf, publishing award-winning and critically
acclaimed books for software developers.

Andy started writing software professionally in early 80's across

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