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I. M. Wright's Hard Code (Developer Best Practices) Paperback – September 12, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0735624351 ISBN-10: 0735624356 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Key Book Benefits:

Provides insights into how Microsoft drives excellence in large, distributed, and diverse business groups

Features a foreword by Mike Zintel, Director of Development at Microsoft

About the Author

Eric Brechner, Director of Development Excellence at Microsoft Corporation, has more than two decades experience in the software industry. He began writing “Hard Code” in 2001 as a resource for Microsoft employees. Since then, the opinion column has ignited an ongoing discussion of best practices among the thousands of software development engineers at Microsoft—and now, to the rest of the development community.


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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Best Practices
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (September 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735624356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735624351
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,675,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eric is the development manager for the Xbox Engineering Fundamentals team. He is widely known within the engineering community as his alter ego, I.M. Wright. Prior to his current assignment, Eric managed development for the Xbox.com web sites, was director of engineering learning and development for Microsoft Corporation, and managed development for a shared feature team in Microsoft Office. Before joining Microsoft in 1995, Eric was a senior principal scientist at The Boeing Company, where he worked in the areas of large-scale visualization, computational geometry, network communications, data-flow languages, and software integration. He was the principal architect of FlyThru, the walkthrough program for the 20 gigabyte, 500+ million polygon model of the Boeing 777 aircraft. Eric has also worked in computer graphics and CAD for Silicon Graphics, GRAFTEK, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He holds eight patents, earned a BS and MS in mathematics and a PhD in applied mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is a certified performance technologist. Outside work, Eric is a proud husband and father of two boys. His younger son has autism. Eric works on autism insurance benefits and serves on the University of Washington Autism Center board. In the few remaining minutes of his day, Eric enjoys going to Seattle Mariners games, playing bridge, coaching Math Olympiad and baseball, and umpiring for Little League. Although Eric shares I. M.'s passion for product, he tries to be a little more tolerant and open-minded.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Eric & Lisa on December 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Hard Code" is a brilliant read for any software developer, architect, manager, etc. It is a candid interpretation of the politics inside Microsoft and the relationships across various roles in the development process.

This might sound a little boring, but no--this guy goes for the throat. In understanding that everyone has a specific job to do--and their objectives often oppose those of everyone else--he accurately and bluntly exposes common points of conflict. More importantly, he gives hard-won, actionable advice on how to cut through all that crap and put everyone on the same page.

For managers and architects, this book [namely chapter 1: "Project Mismanagement"] would be a great supplement to two books of Julie Bick's that also offer unique insight: All I Really Need to Know In Business I Learned at Microsoft and The Microsoft Edge.

Another interesting point in this book was the article, "Google: Serious threat or poor spelling?" Here he actually points out the flaws with Google's business strategy and gives tips on how they [or any company] could overcome their weaknesses to become a true competitor to Microsoft.

It's not like he gives up Windows source code here, but don't be surprised if you get a bit anxious reading it...just waiting for FBI agents to break down your door for accessing coveted insider trade secrets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George on May 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
I.M. Wright (Eric Brechner) fills the book with his opinions and attitudes with more than 20 years of development experience. I found many of his opinions and attitudes right on the mark, others I wasn't sure I agreed with, but I found the book an excellent read. It was interesting reading opinions that date back as far as 2001. More times than not we look at experts' opinions from almost 10 years ago you find that their opinions are way off the mark. This is not the case with I.M. Wright. There are things in the book that even the author looking back has decided wasn't the best idea. But more times than not, what the author said in the early 2000s apply today. I really enjoyed his 2002 column entitled "Six Sigma? Oh please!".

Because the author was working in the real world you don't get a lot of theory or how things should be, but how thing are, real and unfair. He will defend developers and managers when he thinks they need defending, then turn around and chastised them when he thinks they deserve the criticism. I was a little surprised that while working for large organization and these columns were printed internally in the company, the author did not hesitate to criticize the way management operated.

This is not a boring book. The author has strong opinions, attitudes and does not hesitate to express them on the pages. It is fun to read someone's rants and his justifications for these rants. I'm sure everyone will find something they agreed with and something they will not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yong Zhi on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is more of book about devs than coding, but it's fun to read if one works as devs, or "journey developers".

From mere coding perspective, although this is only touched at high level, both chapter 5 and chapter 6 are inspiring and worth the money of the book, it basically tells that code quality can be predicted and improved, like wise, error handling, duplicated, shared code and data are some of the areas that call for great attention.

The book has been translated into my native language already, but the title is a little misleading, it literally means "The Way of Coding".
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joao Cortez on March 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This wonderful book by Eric Brechner analyzes from the inside of Microsoft the dynamics of Software Development, Organization, Project & People Management, Software Design, Development & Quality. To every harsh criticism, he offers some very interesting and yet simple advice. That doesn't mean that Eric is always "WRight", but he certainly has a good point, and it will make you think and see things in a different light. I strongly recommend it to anybody in a IT profession, specially to managers!
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