- Series: Pragmatic Life
- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (June 7, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1934356344
- ISBN-13: 978-1934356340
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development (Pragmatic Life) 1st Edition
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About the Author
Chad Fowler is co-director of Ruby Central, Inc., and remains an active, driving force in the Ruby community.
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Top customer reviews
I do not think this book will turn a lazy programmer into a passionate one, and most people reading this book will already have some passion about programming. Some of the tips were on learning new technologies and getting out of your comfort zone. For most people this will be common sense that you should keep up to date.
Unfortunately too many of the tips fall into the categories of stories from the authors personal experience. Tip #5 is "Invest In Your Intelligence". I liked the title a lot of this one. However, the story to back up this tip is how the author was trying to hire from hundreds of candidates in India. He was unsure intially how to seperate the average candidates from the best. So he told his partner to put the requirement of knowing Smalltalk for the job... his partner said: "nobody knows Smalltalk in India." Despite this the requirement for Smalltalk was made, and the author found a great candidate. At the end of the chapter the author even recommends possibly learning Smalltalk.
After this discussion I went on some job boards and looked up if anybody was hiring for Smalltalk, and there is not a single posting anywhere... the language has not been used in industry since the 1990s. Of all the languages he could have recommended this was an extremely poor choice for a career book.
Too many of the tips are semi-inaccurate or irrelevant and the book is heavily focused on the corporate environment. I would have preferred more about the passion side of programming then on what legacy languages the author enjoys.
The bibliography for this book is only 10 other books with titles such as The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. Hanh is one of my favorite spiritual writers, but this book has no place being in the bibliography for a book on programming. The author should have backed up his opinions by actual data.
The writing is strongly colored by the author's experience as a jazz musician (before launching into programming as a later career choice), dev manager, and staffer in an IT offshoring gig. There isn't much advice for software engineering or programming itself - it's more about soft skills, standing out, and investing in yourself.
This book provides fifty-three career tips on building an extraordinary career. I relish books like these. It was a straight talking book free from fluff, arrogance and double-talk that was impossible to put down. I read it at any opportunity. Even though it was aimed at software development, it is relevant in almost any career you choose.
I love writing. Other than crafting a technical explanation in an email to a customer, it's not something I get much of a chance to do. The author encouraged me to go out and explore my love of writing even more. It has also piqued my interest in software development and I'm currently undertaking an online course in Objective-C programming and rekindled the interest from programming back in my University days when I learned something for the sake of learning rather than for a job and/or having to pay the bills.
My life is better now because of this book.
As software developers, we have the unending pressure and desire to continually improve our craft, to stay ahead of the curve, and not become obsolete in an ever changing industry. Chad offers useful tips on how to improve personal productivity within one’s current place of employment, expand industry knowledge and confidence by contributing to open source software, and brand oneself by becoming a helpful member of the software development industry as a whole.
Self evaluation and incremental, daily goals empower the developer to achieve these tasks. Even those of us with an already busy schedule can daily implement small drops of Chad’s advice to the bucket of our career which will help keep each of us relevant and useful in the software development industry.
Each chapter is short and the book is laid out in such a way to make it difficult to put down. Perhaps the first non-fiction book that kept me up late reading for a few nights, I found each of the 53 tips relevant. And each chapter/tip is followed by a call to action with very do-able suggestions to help you implement the tip.
Well worth the read and I’m already am attempting to put Chad’s advice to practice!