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97 Things Every Programmer Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,273 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Tap into the wisdom of experts to learn what every programmer should know, no matter what language you use. With the 97 short and extremely useful tips for programmers in this book, you'll expand your skills by adopting new approaches to old problems, learning appropriate best practices, and honing your craft through sound advice.

With contributions from some of the most ex
Paperback, 258 pages
Published February 19th 2010 by O'Reilly Media, Inc. (first published January 1st 2010)
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Rod Hilton
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
"97 Livejournal Posts: Collective Suggestions from 20 Experts You've Heard Of And 77 Random People"

This is a book with 97 tips for programmers, each tip takes up two pages or less, written by different programmers (a few get more than one entry). Here's the problem: 2 pages isn't enough to say anything useful about anything. And taking 97 useless writings and concatenating them together doesn't create a useful one - the size limit of each entry prevents anything from being particularly valuable.
Igor Tsinman
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: programming

Про 10 заповедей вы наверное слыхали?! Вроде все логично, вроде все правильно. Но только в теории. В книжках. а вот на практике, в жизни все почему-то не так.

Вроде и родителей любим, и врать не хотим, и до чужих жен дела нам нет. Ан нет, на деле все не так гладко, чтобы не сказать грустно (но это не про нас, правда?).

Так вот "97 Things Every Programmer Should Know" это те самые заповеди, только для программера. Прочитать их стоит, к тому же ребята пишут легко и просто. Заповеди коротенькие, одна
Todd N
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle
Impulse buy on my Kindle. I stopped reading about half way through because I was hoping to get more specific advice. Most of it was sort of "floss between meals" advice that I already know (and ignore). I'd recommend Pragmatic Programmer or Code Complete 2 instead of this book.
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a provocative title! What practitioner in any field could see a title like "X Things Every Y Should Know" and not wonder, "Do I know all of these X things? I should know them all, as I am, indeed, a Y!"

Really far more than just "Things", this is a collection of good advice. Interestingly, it's good even when (perhaps especially when) it is contradictory.

I believe it is wise to pay attention to good advice. I believe it is even wiser to be able to choose the right advice to follow at the
Stefan Kanev
Jun 22, 2010 rated it liked it
If nothing else, it's an aptly named book.

It does indeed contain 97 things every programmer should know. Sadly for me, I knew pretty much all of them. I still managed to find some interesting ideas or some very nice formulations. I tried to imagine how this book will appear to a novice programmer and I think it might be useful. I certainly wish that the novice programers I've worked with knew that stuff.

Each thing is a two page article on a specific subject. For example:

- Write Tests for People
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not all essays will apply to you (I didn't need to be convinced of the benefits of code reviewing), but there's something here for every programmer. None of us are perfect; we could all stand to learn something new or improve on something. This book is like a thoughtful performance evaluation that inspires you to step up your game. And write more tests, dammit.

I'd recommend this for all programmers, especially those who don't think they need to read this.
Aug 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: tech
The "Beware the Share" chapter by Udi Dahan resonated with me. I also now buy into version control.
p. 14
"It was my first project at the company. I'd just finished my degree and was anxious to prove myself, staying late every day going through the existing code. As I worked through my first feature, I took extra care to put in place everything I had learned - commenting, logging, pulling out shared code into libraries where possible, the works. The code review that I had felt so ready for came as
Joerg Rings
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it
97 very short pieces all containing little insights into what makes one a better programmer, written by a field of experienced programmers - mostly white dudes.
It's a short read, and definitely worth going through. There is a lot of good insight. I would say 60% of the pieces contain a valuable message - do testing. be careful of this usual pattern in testing because here's an anecdote where it failed. don't use this pattern. The other 40% I would say suffer from programmer's arrogance a bit too
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: software
After having first read 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know, I at least found this one more interesting.

As could be expected, the Every [...] Should Know part of the title is quite a stretch, but there's some good advice here and there.

I would have expected more stuff like Understand the difference between a decimal and a floating point number, or Beware of invisible unicode points, such as byte-order marks (cost me half a day, once), but most of the articles were focused on the (inte
If you bought this, then you've wasted money, regardless of your level of expertise.

If you're a novice who's just starting out or a developer who wants to find out more about best practices, find books that target the areas you're looking to improve on; they will be way more useful by providing concrete and specific examples.

If you're an expert looking for a refresher, just about any software development blogs, sites, or forums that you've been following (you are doing this, right?) will give yo
Aug 23, 2010 rated it liked it
If you're a programmer, you should definitely read this book through at least once. I'd say about 25% of the book was not directly relevant to me, 50% was something I was already quite familiar with, but that remaining 25% was excellent material that made me think in new ways. Each essay is only 2 pages, so you won't go in-depth on any topic, but it will hopefully spark your desire to learn more.

One critique of the book is how it's organized. It appears that the 97 items are simply listed alphab
Florentin Cosmin
This book contains 97 tips from experienced professionals about the software development process in general, each one succintly described in less than two pages.

The advices cover a large variety of topics: programming (pay attention to the warnings also, learn the tricks and shortcuts in your IDE, design a readable API for your methods, have separate exception handling for framework and bussiness logic exceptions, write only usefull comments), deployment (deploy the solution early and often, av
Reza K.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
well, this book consists of 97 two-page tip and experiences about software development. some are about habits, some are about best practices, some are about the way you should look at things, etc. it was of course worth reading. somehow i can say it is essential to every programmer. but of course there's a best-time-to-read-this-book. I think coders with less than 1 year have some more important stuff to do: work. the things mentioned in this book will have their best effect, when the reader has ...more
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technical
An interesting collection of things various programmers think would make your life better. Some are things I knew (version control); some I didn't, many seemed not fully described in the space available. I think the idea is that you pick this up, read one entry, and think about its lesson; but the entries should be a little more complete in general.
Shruti Tanwar
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
You will need to apply your judgement while reading about how, where and when to use these pieces of wisdom by some really great developers. It won't necessarily make you the best programmer out there, but it definitely would give you some direction in places where any beginner developer feels at a loss.
A good read!
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: it-books
The book brings nice advices, specially if you are a beginner programmer. If you have some experience, maybe you will know couple things already, but those don't diminish the book's value. It's still a good collection of advices that every programmer should know.

Recommended reading in this case.
Filipe Amaral
Good but nothing special...
Matt Boyle
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Out dated and a little abstract at times.
Julissa Dantes-castillo
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very good! I wish Ive read this by the time I started working, because I learned many of this things the hard way ...more
Karel Rymes
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Most of the things in the book are just too straightforward.
Leandro López
A waste of time. I'm an almost two decades experienced programmer and almost in a daily basis I learn things that I should know; NOT reading this book is something I would have love to know before. Really, there's nothing to learn from it.
Farhan Khalid
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: computer
Act With Prudence

Otherwise one has to pay technical debt

Apply Functional Programming Principles

For referential transparency

Ask, “What Would the User Do?” (You Are Not the User)

We all tend to assume that other people think like us. But they don’t

Psychologists call this the false consensus bias

Automate Your Coding Standard

You’ve probably been there, too

At the beginning of a project, everybody has lots of good intentions

Call them "new project’s resolutions"

Beauty Is in Simplicity

Beauty of style and
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is a compilation of short essays from 97 authors that describe a random aspect of Software Engineering. The articles are missing any references and are somewhat subjective. Also they could be organised better.

2.5 / 5

Giustino Borzacchiello
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 53challenge
This book was a good read: if you want to get inspired about how to become a better developer, I suggest you read it.

The book itself is a collection of essays from known developers, with topic ranging from TDD, code quality, design principles, etc.

The average experienced developer will find most of the content well known, but some hints can still be useful.

It was great to read during commute because each chapter is just a three to four pages.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Software Developers
Good book. Recommended to all software devs, as it has some really good chapters with great advice. Not all of them might be relevant for all developers, though, and some might be a bit out of context.

Still a good read overall.
Dan'l Danehy-oakes
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm honestly not sure what possessed me to read this book. I'm not a programmer, though I work in the software industry and majored in Computer Science. But that major was going-on four decades ago, and I've never done much coding since, so as a programmer I'm not just out of practice - I'm obsolete.

But there it was, and I thought I'd give it a try. It might give me some insight into what my coding coworkers do, right?

Strangely, I was immediately hooked. The book consists of 97 two-page essayle
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book contains some "collective wisdom from the experts" (in programming). The 97 advices come from many different (albeit less than 97) authors. A broad range of ideas, presentation styles and fields are covered, ranging from programming languages (C/C++, Java, scripting languages) to fields as lofty as philosophy (yes, Wittgenstein and Heidegger get mentioned). I had a feeling that testing as a topic got a prominent place in the book, and rightly so in my opinion.

As it is bound to be, some
Ashraf Bashir
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: technical
Two pages per article, are not enough to discuss any point/issue! Due to this small article length, the book suffers from lack of code snippets, yup as you expected, just to save space!, so ideas are totally abstract without any practical samples (except 4 or 5 articles) ... Moreover, many topics are replicated more than 2 times with exactly same ideas, words and expressions ! And some of them contradict each other (is it bad or good? mmm, honestly I don't know) ! ... Also the collection is not ...more
Christoffer Klang
Hard to give a fair review of this book, since it's a collection of so many different texts by different authors.

I found it to be pretty much a mixed bag things. Some texts were amusing, some rather bland and boring. Some clever and fresh, some a bit obvious and dated. Some were really close to what I do in my work and some felt really alien.

But in the end I found almost all of them to be thought provoking. The dated ones made me think about how things have changed, and the alien ones made me
Mar 05, 2011 rated it liked it
This book as a collection of two-page reflections on different aspects of programming, each contributed by a different practitioner. The topics range from specific practical items, such as the use of comments or specific design patterns, to the philosophical, such as why programmers should read the humanities.

There were some articles with interesting and new ideas. But as someone who has been programming professionally for more than twenty years those were definitely the minority. Nevertheless,
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“Write code as if you had to support it for the rest of your life.” 3 likes
“If your code needs comments, consider refactoring it so it doesn’t.” 2 likes
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