- 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: 127 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,251 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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""Chad Fowler presents a set of no-nonsense heuristics, disciplines, and attitudes that will teach you how to respect and love your profession--and be great at it."" - Bob Martin, President Object Mentor, Inc.
""This book is solid GOLD! There may be hope for our "unprofession" after all! More power to you!"" - Bruce Langenbach, Independent Agile Software Entrepreneur and Passionate IT Consultant
About the Author
Chad Fowler is co-director of Ruby Central, Inc., and remains an active, driving force in the Ruby community.
Top customer reviews
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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.
I seriously thought at the time my career would take me into the “management” track and had assumed that it was what I was meant to do.
Reading the book at the time motivated me to transform myself into becoming a better leader — a less angry, insensitive nerd who couldn’t understand business.
That was then.
Fast forward to 2017, I’ve moved on from being Project Manager at “.NET shop” and back into a Software Engineer at “Big-Co”. Picking up this book again recently has made me reflect on things I had missed the first time around.
A side note: Practicing the ideals presented by this book has allowed me to take what I’ve learned as a Project Manager, and apply it to my Engineering self. The result? A more pleasant and personable person to work with.
Passionate Programmer speaks to me in that we all don’t have to move into some “management” role to grow our career. We can stay as engineers if we want to! We just need to be AWESOME engineers. Awesome is a heavy word… What does awesome mean?
Know your worth.
Be confident and learn to say No if something simply can’t be done. A Yes then to a manager becomes more valuable coming from you. People who can’t admit that they don’t know something tend to be more insecure, anyway.
Do what it takes to be and stay valuable in your realm.
Don’t be afraid to come off as the “worst” one in your group. Take it as a learning experience, and improve!
Take time to learn and reflect deeply on the industry in combination with what you currently know. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Be ever changing in your thoughts and opinions. Things move on fast, so it’s less than ideal to cling onto and not be able to question an idea that was once great, but not so anymore.
Not much bad about this book! It’s a light and casual read and I highly recommend it for any Software Engineer who is just starting out their career at the Junior level, up to the Mid-Level. There are a lot of great takeaways and I think it’s read best once and then revisited again.
Bonus — I thought it was hilarious when Chad Fowler gave a stern warning about not focusing too hard on technology like Java. His reasoning was that Sun Microsystems could go down-under any day. Surprise, surprise.
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.