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Coder to Developer: Tools and Strategies for Delivering Your Software Paperback – April 9, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0782143270 ISBN-10: 078214327X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition (April 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078214327X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0782143270
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #878,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Two thumbs up"
—Gregory V. Wilson, Dr. Dobbs Journal (October 2004)

No one can disparage the ability to write good code. At its highest levels, it is an art.

But no one can confuse writing good code with developing good software. The difference—in terms of challenges, skills, and compensation—is immense.

Coder to Developer helps you excel at the many non-coding tasks entailed, from start to finish, in just about any successful development project. What's more, it equips you with the mindset and self-assurance required to pull it all together, so that you see every piece of your work as part of a coherent process. Inside, you'll find plenty of technical guidance on such topics as:

  • Choosing and using a source code control system
  • Code generation tools—when and why
  • Preventing bugs with unit testing
  • Tracking, fixing, and learning from bugs
  • Application activity logging
  • Streamlining and systematizing the build process
  • Traditional installations and alternative approaches
To pull all of this together, the author has provided the source code for Download Tracker, a tool for organizing your collection of downloaded code, that's used for examples throughout this book. The code is provided in various states of completion, reflecting every stage of development, so that you can dig deep into the actual process of building software. But you’ll also develop “softer” skills, in areas such as team management, open source collaboration, user and developer documentation, and intellectual property protection. If you want to become someone who can deliver not just good code but also a good product, this book is the place to start. If you must build successful software projects, it’s essential reading.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy is the lead developer for Lark Group, Inc., an independent software consulting firm in eastern Washington. He has worked with Microsoft data access and web technologies for more than a decade. He is the author of ADO and ADO. NET Programming, and co-author of .NET Programming 10-Minute Solutions, Mastering Visual C# .NET, .NET E- Commerce Programming, and the best- selling Access 2002 Developer's Handbook series, all from Sybex.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Sean Harding on June 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I picked up this book, I was expecting something along the lines of _The Pragmatic Programmer_ -- basic, broadly-applicable advice on designing and building better software. This book does have some of that. The advice is sound, and I picked up a couple of tips as I read. But I didn't realize that this is really a Windows .NET book, not a general software development book. The title didn't tip me off, and neither did the description on the back cover.
As someone who doesn't develop .NET software (nor even Windows software at the moment), I found myself skimming or completely skipping large portions of the book that described .NET- and Windows-specific tools. The further I got along in the book, the more I found myself reading only the general overview sections to get an idea of what Mr. Gunderloy was trying to say, and then skipping the specifics. A lot of the ideas and advice in this book are basic, so they may appeal more to beginning programmers than to experienced developers. However, the information is good, and it provides a helpful foundation for good development habits.
If you're a beginning .NET programmer, I think this would be a great book to read. If you're a beginning Mac, Unix or other non-Windows/.NET programmer, you'll probably pick up some good tips, but there are likely better books out there for you. If you're an experienced .NET programmer, you'll probably have a good background in most of the material, but the overviews of available tools might be helpful. If you're an experienced non-Windows/.NET programmer, I would not recommend this book -- the general ideas are fairly basic, and the specific advice will probably not be terribly applicable to your work.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on April 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Coder to Developer is one of the best technical books I have read in years. Like The Pragmatic Programmer and Software Craftsmanship before it, this book teaches how to be better engineer in the areas outside of strict coding. Yes it teaches a little about specific coding practices, but the intent of the book is to cover the breadth of skills required of a true developer. Skills like project management, architecture, engineering process, source code control, and relating to the customer. These are the types of career skills than will move you from a coder cog to an invaluable developer.
Mike finds the right depth in the book, not too deep into the technical details, nor so abstract as to be an architectural tome for the ages. When it comes to coding the book is primarily focused on C# on the .NET platform, but you should let that dissuade you. He covers a wide variety of techniques and technologies and the book is valuable for anyone involved in the engineering side of the software industry.
The book follows the rough timeline of application development, from nailing down the feature set in the first chapter to delivering the product in the last chapter. The book is fairly brief (roughly 300 pages). Chapter by chapter:
Chapter one covers planning out your project. It covers gathering requirements and how to decide on a development methodology for the project. It gives a decent overview of all of the popular development methodologies and pointers as to where to learn more. It also covers some software that you probably didn't know was out there but that can help you as you nailing down the feature set.
Chapter two covers architecture and gives a nice overview of both the UML and Patterns side of the business, and the more fast and loose XP development process.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wm Eric Brunsen on May 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book prior to it being available, based on articles and newsletters that I had read by the author. I eagerly awaited its release and delivery to my doorstep. Upon receiving the book, my initial reaction was one of skepticism and worry. I have MANY other computer books that don't claim to cover nearly as much ground, and yet, are much longer. Knowing the level of Mike's work (from articles and newsletters), I kept an open mind and started reading. After 3 days of reading and digesting the information in the book, I must say that it is one of the best computer books I have ever read (and one of the very few that I have read cover-to-cover, and not only cover-to-cover, but cover-to-cover to the exclusion of all else). After reading the first couple of chapters, I decided to put aside the software application that I was working on, and read the entire book. I will now go back to the start of my application and apply the lessons from the book to the project. I don't feel that I have "lost" the time working on the software project, because I think that what I learned in the book will more than pay for itself in saved time during development.
This book is not a "how-to" book, but rather a "what-to" book. That is, there are very few "step by step" examples for a given task (such as unit testing), but rather, an entire collection of tasks that any coder/developer should not only know, but practice regularly. However, the entire book itself can be viewed as a step-by-step guide to software development from start to finish.
While much of the book seems to be "common sense" as you read through it, I found at least 1 thing that I didn't know or hadn't considered in every chapter.
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