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Writing Solid Code (Microsoft Programming Series) Paperback – January 1, 1993
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Any programmer worth their silicon knows that it is wiser to invest time preventing bugs from hatching than to try to exterminate them afterwards. And this is one of the best books for developing a proactive attitude towards electronic entomology. Follow Maguire's advice, and your testers, supervisors and customers will love you. Recommended.
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I couldn't put the book down. There's so much useful information mixed in with the war stories. Almost every guideline he puts forward is useful today. "This is what happened" and exactly shows the reasons why Microsoft 1993 was so crashy. They did all of their features up-front and encouraged them not to fix them until the end of project. The business saw the finished features and say "Why is the program at this state for so long? By golly, it looks complete, so we should release!"
You also got to read about things he did in DOS, the Macintosh, and the 16-bit to 32-bit transition. That was my favorite part. Microsoft was one of the first companies out there to release Macintosh software
If you are the top 10-25% of programmers, you probably don't need a book like this. Then again, a lot of them would read the book anyways to find out how to be better. The detractors of this book are usually the kind of people that need to read it.
Also, the C code can disorient readers just because of the nature of C code.
I would have paid 300 times more for this book. Okay, I bought it used for $0.07, but still, it was great
Don't worry that his examples are in C. The ideas transcend the source language. If half of the programmers followed half of his suggestions half of the time, the software industry would undergo a revolution in quality. There is no silver bullet, but these suggestions are so practical. It's just a matter of adopting a few good habbits.
This book will be a classic. Scratch that. It *is* a classic.
If you're a programmer, it belongs on your shelf beside _Programming Pearls_, _Code Complete_, and Knuth.
I decided to give it a go! After reading just 2 chapters I was
implementing a number of his suggestions. Although the title of
the book concerns development using C, I have found it very
helpful in writing in Delphi.
If you think that code should read like a mystery novel, where
every new line leads to yet another mystery. Where you must
continually refer back to previous chapters to follow the flow
of what is happening.....don't buy this book! The author makes
the very valid point that reading code should be like reading the
most boring novel you have ever seen. Every line of code should
be obvious in it's function. When the code does something with
a value, you should say to yourself "I knew you were going to do
that!" If you like to do everything in the most "tricky" way you
can, hide the purpose for each loop and enjoy "side effects"...
either read this book and evolve to be something better than you
are now or stay away from me and my code!
Maguire makes a number of suggestions for making your software
verify as much of it's data structures, function calls etc. as
it can during startup. He quotes a number of cases from his
experiences in Microsoft and pulls no punches about how some
things used to be done, but at the same time was truly amazed at
how sophisticated some of the internal error checking and system
monitoring functionality worked.
I have noted that most of the reviews of the book which 'can it'
seem to be from people who have either never even seen the book
or who have some bone to pick with Microsoft - some of it with
perhaps good reason, and some without! The concepts presented
in the book may not be earthbreaking, but they have enabled me to
modify my current software development to produce code which will
tell me if I have missed coding something! It will tell me if
I have spelt a string value incorrectly! It has even enabled me
to rewrite whole classes where they are extensible without
writing a single line of code!!! And if you don't have to write
new code, you can't get new bugs!
Try it, I think you will like it!