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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Any Hobbyist or Professional Coder
I've written this review 3 times from scratch. Why? Because I was upset that my writing was not eloquent enough to accurately relay how important and useful this book truly is.

If you're considering buying this book, do it now. You can thank me later.

This book teaches you to (among other things):

1. Increase your programming skill and...
Published on July 3, 2010 by Randall Degges

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89 of 111 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissenting Opinion
I had to buy this book after reading all of the glowing reviews. It is definitely not a five-star book.

After reading it my impression is that this book is aimed at people who went into programming for reasons other than love, people who are struggling to stay interested and afloat in the industry. Anyone who is truly passionate about programming will have...
Published on August 22, 2009 by Amazon Customer


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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Any Hobbyist or Professional Coder, July 3, 2010
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This review is from: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) (Paperback)
I've written this review 3 times from scratch. Why? Because I was upset that my writing was not eloquent enough to accurately relay how important and useful this book truly is.

If you're considering buying this book, do it now. You can thank me later.

This book teaches you to (among other things):

1. Increase your programming skill and potential by changing your attitude and work habits.
2. Maximize your time and money by treating your programming time like a business.
3. Keep your passion for programming alive, and growing.
4. Advance your career either at your job, or on your own.
5. Manage and run your own company successfully and efficiently.

The author discusses almost every aspect of professional development, and explains what practices are good, what practices are bad, and how you can improve yourself and your skill set in each area.

As both a hobbyist programmer and professional programmer, I felt a strong connection to the author (Chad Fowler). The recurring theme present throughout the book is a sense of self-education and striving to learn everything, which I think many programmers are drawn to. I know that I have an internal drive to continuously improve, learn, and grow--and it is this same drive that Fowler will instill in you while reading through this book.

The book is extremely hard to put down, and I had to force myself to put it down several times (I read through the entire thing in 3 days or so) so that I could reflect on the content of the book and really absorb all of the information and theory behind what Fowler writes.

All in all, this book is a MUST READ for any programmer or entrepreneur who programs either for fun, or professionally. It is filled with excellent advice, and is truly a pleasure to read.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will be reading this book multiple times.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Advice to be Passionate about your Craft - For The Win!, May 21, 2009
This review is from: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) (Paperback)
This book is geared mainly for programmers. But if you are in any field where you work mainly creating things in your head and then placing them in some media (music, programming, design), the principles in this book apply to you. There is no code in this book so it's not strictly a technical book, but a fair amount of the examples only have full impact if you understand at least a little bit of software development.

Over my career as a developer and tech lead, I've found that the most enjoyable and productive people I've worked with follow the principles outlined in this book. Because I thoroughly enjoy what I do, I try to hire like-minded people at our company, and I continuously look for traits like these on people beyond the ability to code in the specific technologies we use.

From learning how to turn a "maintenance" project into an enjoyable one, to being the worst in a great team instead of the best in a mediocre team, to completely automating everything you do so you're cheaper than several outsourced developers and actually learning the business you're developing for so you can "read minds" and are able to improve your business bottom line with your understanding of the problem domain, this book teaches you to become better at what you do in your technical career and to thoroughly enjoy doing it.

Whether you are at the beginning of your career or you feel like "going into management" because you have lost your passion for the craft of development, this book will jolt you back into doing the best work for the software community and improving the world with automation, and "being awesome".

Get this book. You'll be glad you did.
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89 of 111 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissenting Opinion, August 22, 2009
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This review is from: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) (Paperback)
I had to buy this book after reading all of the glowing reviews. It is definitely not a five-star book.

After reading it my impression is that this book is aimed at people who went into programming for reasons other than love, people who are struggling to stay interested and afloat in the industry. Anyone who is truly passionate about programming will have already discovered and acted on the best advice from the book while ignoring the rest.

There is some solid advice here. But it's generally very obvious and generic like "try to see where the industry is going and stay ahead of the curve" or "people will take you more seriously if you can write well".

There is also some bad, or at least impractical, advice. If you tried to follow all of the author's suggestions for "staying ahead of the curve" and "making yourself more marketable" it could easily eat up many hours per week that would probably better be spent on actual programming. Much of his advice also involves, for lack of a better term, sucking up to management.

This book may be useful for someone graduating from college with a computer science degree, but I can't see it being very valuable to anyone with a few years experience.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Career Revived!!!, February 4, 2011
This review is from: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) (Paperback)
Chad, Where was this book 20 years ago when I started my software dev career? Where was I? Oh yea, just sitting in my cubicle letting things happen to my career and not taking charge. 20 years ago I wanted to work for Apple. What did I do about it? Nothing, nadda, zip. What did I do after reading this book? Teach myself Obj-C & Cocoa Touch. Now I have one iPhone app (ScoutTrail) in Apple's App Store and another one on the way. Oh yea, what did I do last week? Visited the Cupertino for a job interview. Toughest and most exciting interview of my career.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Suck, Win!, October 20, 2010
By 
Nathan (Forest Park, IL, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) (Paperback)
I'm almost halfway through the book and it's great. The point of this book can be summed up with the quote:

"The truth of the matter is, if you need to 'save' your job, I can't help you. This book isn't about struggling to maintain the level of mediocrity required not to get fired. It's about being awesome. It's about winning. You don't win a race by trying not to loose. And you don't win at life by trying not to suck."

If that doesn't get you blood pumping, then this book isn't for you, and neither is programming.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, May 21, 2009
By 
David Copeland (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) (Paperback)
This book is a very quick, yet dense read that will reignite your love of programming and software (if you had it to begin with). It's not just inspirational, though; there are specific suggestions of concrete things you can do.

DHH (of Rails fame) posted a tweet about this book (he wrote the forward), and I went to check it out. Just looking at the TOC was enough to sell me on the concept. I could not put it down and finished it quite quickly. I had languished for about 5 years in a very boring but easy job programming and had recently started a much more fulfilling job. I was still feeling a bit undirected in my career (as if I lucked out landing this job) and that I hadn't really solved my problem is "what do I do with myself".

I had figured "go into management", but, after reading this, I have fully embraced my love of programming and software development. It gave me great ideas, as well as general inspiration to focus my career and make sure that, no matter where I'm working, the things I do serve my long-term career. It gave me some hope that, as I transition for 20-something whiz-kid to 40-something old-guy, I can have a relevant and fulfilling career without getting stuck in management or, worse, supporting so horrible old system for the rest of my days.

This book is technology agnostic and appropriate for anyone at any skill level and any choice of "preferred technology" (it will even challenge you on that very concept). Some of the analogies are related to the author's musical background and maybe harder to grok for the non-musically inclined (I am so inclined, so these really hit home for me).

HIGHLY recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are You Drinking the Kool-Aid?, September 15, 2009
This review is from: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) (Paperback)
I'm of mixed minds about this book. On one hand, it's well-written, easily digested, and offers practical advice for anyone who is feeling maybe a bit stagnated in their software career. On the other, most of the advice given seems intuitively obvious to the sort of people whom the book is targeted at ("passionate programmers"). I'm probably overgeneralizing in that latter point, as the rest of the reviews here are overwhelmingly very positive.

Anyway, my guess is that those of us who are already working at small startups or as consultants, contributing to open source, and dedicating weekly cycles to playing with shiny new things might be, well, a little bored with some of the material here. Likewise, those that fashion themselves as entrepreneurs and have digested 37 Signals' "Getting Real" and the work of authors like Seth Godin will have heard bits of this before. This book does a solid job of summarizing a lot of the more relevant bits from those works, adds some nice personal stories, and of course has lots to offer to other programmers (or IT / technology people in general) who aren't yet drinking the appropriately flavored kool-aid.

Fowler won't teach you how to be passionate about software development in "The Passionate Programmer", but honestly if you don't care about software, you probably aren't going to read this book anyway. If you love the craft but find yourself stuck in a position that doesn't thrill you, the advice here might well help you learn how to leverage your passion to improve yourself, market your skills better, and find more joy in your career. And that's A Good Thing.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is a Business Process Book, November 5, 2009
By 
Joe At Work (Knoxville, TN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) (Paperback)
Just an FYI - the "Career" in the subtitle means "In a Business, as a worker." This is a business self-help book, more like David Allen's "Getting Things Done" or "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" than "The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" or "Godel, Escher, and Bach." And a business self-help book is a fine thing, but I'm afraid at least one consumer (me) was mislead by the title. One can be passionate about music, and care nothing for getting ahead in the recording industry; one can be passionate about mathematics and care nothing for getting articles published in academic journals; one can be a passionate programmer aside from selling programming.

This definitely doesn't make it a bad book; I'm still looking forward to finishing it at some point, because hey, I've got a job. But it's a business self-help book, about being a better worker. This is the second title the book has had (the first edition was titled "My Job Went to India: 52 Ways to Save Your Job, How to design, debug, and deploy your Pragmatic Career") the first title may have been more representative of the work itself. And I'm off to window-shop "The Art of Computer Programming."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insights and tips, May 21, 2009
This review is from: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) (Paperback)
I've just finished reading the Passionate Programmer and found two things particularly interesting:
One, I have been doing most of the suggestions all along without realising or paying particular attention to how/why :-)
Two, The analogies of the musician programmer (which I am) rang very true and highlighted things I had not thought of in this way before.

I highly recommend reading this book if you want practical tips on building and improving your career.
Most chapters have a to-do list of tips that you can incorporate into your life immediately.

I will be going over the book again soon paying particular attention to the "Act on it" tips and incorporating them into my daily work
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You owe it to yourself!, July 17, 2009
This review is from: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) (Paperback)
I must admit beforehand: I'm biased.
I translated this book into German.

Normally, I don't promote the books I translate, but, as I told Chad in a private e-mail, I wished I could have read this book about 25 years ago, when I started my career in IT.

If you are dissatisfied or stuck in your career, you owe to yourself, to read this book. Chad has done it himself. He has proven, what can be done, and has done it. You find sound advice, proven techniques and, above all, inspiration and motivation.

Ten or fifteen years from now, don't let yourself wish: If I only had read this book so many years ago. Do it now!
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