Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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It's tough to predict if this book will appeal to you. If you're a seasoned software industry professional with a deep love for the 'craft' of coding then you'll love this collection if interviews. I certainly did and it reminded me of why I got into this industry in the first place and it rekindled a love for coding.
At least one reviewer has complained that this title didn't "detail" how these programmers worked and how they approached programming. I must thoroughly disagree. The opinions of these people on common points of disagreement from type systems to tools and coding styles to debugging methods was explored. If you are hoping that you will be able to watch the subjects solve a complex problem or go through a typical day's work than you are in the wrong place. This isn't a screencast or a tutorial. On the other hand, there are a wide variety of opinions on display from experts in different areas of the field across different generations on numerous contentious issues.
This book is filled with words worth chewing on. On the first read, the interviews of Crockford, Deutsch, Eich, and Peyton-Jones stuck out to me in particular. In subsequent readings I expect that set to be different. All of the interviewees did agree on the importance of one thing, reading and writing code. For a beginner, this book is likely to point out some pitfalls that otherwise would've been missed and suggests valuable sources of intuition and insight. Perhaps most importantly, it may help popularize some knowledge of the history of our field. As Knuth laments, "The idea that people knew a thing or two in the '70s is strange to a lot of young programmers." There is some valuable distilled experience and wisdom here. At the very least, the book should help you hash over your own opinions on the issues discussed.
After reading this book I found myself wanting to learn more about systems programming and while I probably will always work in application programming, I now have a new found respect for the hard work that these scientists and hackers have put throughout their life-long careers.
This book is a must read for any passionate programmer who is interested about the history and the early developments made in the software industry, developments that made today's technologies possible!
of print for the next 5 years. I have 2 good points to make.
1. To have so much condensed brainpower in one book is wonderful, as it will make other publishers embarrassed enough
to put out better books.
2. This book will help a lot of people going into Computer Science, as the way this book is designed is psychologically
sound. By this I mean programmers/ role models speaking in their own words about topics that are essential to
Computer Science students. Also, the price is affordable, even for students.
Coders at Work benefits heavily from Peter Seibel's own experience programming, and his familiarity really helps drive the conversation in direction that true coders will appreciate. If you view programming as more than just a day job and are looking for ways to improve your craft, or just inspiration from hearing the tasks that others have been able to accomplish this is a great read.