More updates to the book list.  I’ve added two excellent books to the list.  I also want to talk about one of the best software development books I’ve EVER read.  That book is ‘The Pragmatic Programmer’.

First, a little bit of background.  I started programming very early on (Think Commodore 64, TRS-80, and Apple IIe time frame).  After dipping my toe into the water with computers through high school, I decided I wanted to study music in college.  (Can we say, ‘Not one of your brighter moves’?)  Then, to pay for my music habbit, I entered the work force as a hardware specialist.  I kept up a Xenix system for a doctor’s office for a year and a half, then moved to working for a mom and pop computer store, building and fixing computers.  I learned a LOT.  One of the biggest things that I learned was that I didn’t want to make a LIVING doing this .  I had dabbled in programming since I first started with computers, but had never really had ‘the bug’ hit me.  After a really bad career decision of leaving the hardware shop to help a ‘consultant’ out, I ended up back being a systems administrator.  What helped was that I ended up understanding enough to code for reports and such.  After that, I did a hitch as a C++ developer, and from there, the rest is good history.

Now, why is this necessary for a book review?  This SHOULD give some insight as to why I like this book and its practices.  One thing that I never had (and to be honest, would never accept) was a good mentor.  I never worked with one of those programmers who just were so awesome that even being in the same room with them, you improved by 10%.  Scratch that, I was around a great friend of mine, Shoaib, who was one of the best programmers I’ve known.  Unfortunately, he used vi to edit, so I could NEVER even keep up…  Again, I’m rambling, back to the book review…

Why do I think this book is great?  It’s not the ‘run-of-the-mill’ developer reference book.  Instead of focusing on how to do something, it covers more of WHAT to do.  I do not need another book to cover the language semantics.  There’s a lot of other books for that.  What I DO need is what to do to be more efficient as a developer.  This book covers that.  Between the DRY principle and Tracer Bullets, a LOT can be accomplished.

If you’re a software developer and think you are stuck in a rut, or have hit a plateau with your growth or coding, check this book out.

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