- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (August 11, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0132350882
- ISBN-13: 978-0132350884
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (447 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Even bad code can function. But if code isn't clean, it can bring a development organization to its knees. Every year, countless hours and significant resources are lost because of poorly written code. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Noted software expert Robert C. Martin presents a revolutionary paradigm with "Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship." Martin has teamed up with his colleagues from Object Mentor to distill their best agile practice of cleaning code "on the fly" into a book that will instill within you the values of a software craftsman and make you a better programmer--but only if you work at it.
What kind of work will you be doing? You'll be reading code--lots of code. And you will be challenged to think about what's right about that code, and what's wrong with it. More importantly, you will be challenged to reassess your professional values and your commitment to your craft.
"Clean Code" is divided into three parts. The first describes the principles, patterns, and practices of writing clean code. The second part consists of several case studies of increasing complexity. Each case study is an exercise in cleaning up code--of transforming a code base that has some problems into one that is sound and efficient. The third part is the payoff: a single chapter containing a list of heuristics and "smells" gathered while creating the case studies. The result is a knowledge base that describes the way we think when we write, read, and clean code.
Readers will come away from this book understanding
How to tell the difference between good and bad codeHow to write good code and how to transform bad code into good codeHow to create good names, good functions, good objects, and good classesHow to format code for maximum readabilityHow to implement complete error handling without obscuring code logicHow to unit test and practice test-driven developmentThis book is a must for any developer, software engineer, project manager, team lead, or systems analyst with an interest in producing better code.
About the Author
Robert C. “Uncle Bob” Martin has been a software professional since 1970 and an international software consultant since 1990. He is founder and president of Object Mentor, Inc., a team of experienced consultants who mentor their clients worldwide in the fields of C++, Java, C#, Ruby, OO, Design Patterns, UML, Agile Methodologies, and eXtreme programming.
Top Customer Reviews
The suggestions presented in the book (meaningful names, pertinence of comments, code formatting, etc) may sound very familiar to any experienced programmer but they are presented with such a level of detail and with very illustrative examples that it is almost impossible not to learn valuable things chapter by chapter. All the examples are in Java, but the guidelines they illustrate can be applied, in most of the cases, to other languages.
The most challenging chapter to read (but also a very valuable one) was the Refactoring of the class SerialDate (from the JCommon library). It is a real-life example and the author shows step-by-step what it takes to do refactoring. The last chapter, "Smells and Heuristics" makes a very good closure presenting in categories and in a condensed way, potential problems and suggested ways to solve/mitigate them.
I enjoyed reading this book and after finishing it, I decided to apply the Boy Scout Rule. I took a module written in a procedural language and not only managed to improve the clarity of the code, but also reduced the number of lines from more than 1,100 to 650. The next person to touch this code will certainly be happy to deal with cleaner code!
Sometimes the author presents strategies very specific to him that wouldn't work for me. For example, I tried the pomodoro method before and had mixed results. I think readers would benefit more looking at the goal (better time management) and finding a methodology that works for them to accomplish that goal.
He is very bullish on unit tests, stating that there is no longer and controversy over TDD. As a huge fan of unit tests, I find many places I have worked at have very little interest in unit testing or don't see any real benefit.
The book is also very strongly against being in the Flow to program which I found interesting. This is pretty much 100% the opposite of everything else I have ever heard/read.
He is also against listening to music while programming. He provides a weird example where while listening to Pink Floyd his code comments had Pink Floyd references. The author has a tendency to confuse something that is true for him ("I don't listen to music while programming") to a general universal rule ("Programmers shouldn't listen to music while programming").
Most programmers I know who listen to music do so as white noise. For instance, I listen to techno many times while programming. I don't like techno but the droning drum servies to drown out the office chitter chatter at my current gig.
Like Clean Code, I don't always agree with the author but provides good food for thought and is worth the read!
In fact, we have lots and lots of educational programs designed to teach grammar, composition, journalism, and fiction. Master's Degrees in the subject, even.
But for software development we seemed obsessed with "architecture" (whatever that means), process and patterns.
In this book, Bob Martin takes a specific stab at what good code looks like. He provides rules, examples, and even sample transformations.
It is not an easy book. If you are a new developer, you can invest a lot of time and energy into really absorbing the concepts and practicing them yourself. If you are more senior, you may disagree, you may struggle, you may toss the book in a corner and yell at it ...
But then you'll pick it back up again. And you will be a better developer for it.
One thing that I struggle with about the traditional CS cirricula is that so little attention is spent on maintenance, which is the vast majority of actual development time. This book presents an aesthetic and the skills to write maintainable code. If you teach software development, you'll want to use this book in your courses.
Student, Journeyman, Master, or Instructor - A book like this belongs on your bookshelf. Follow the advice in it, or have an explanation why not - either way you'll be a strong developer.
Of course, there are other books in this area. What struck me about this one is the quality of the writing; it is truly engaging and -- a little inspiring. That quality is so rare in technical books that I give this one five stars.