The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey to Mastery, 20th Anniversary Edition


Today I finished The Pragmatic Programmer: your journey to mastery, 20th Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition). This is one of the 2 books that I have been procrastinating for two decades to read. The other book is The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering. When pragmatic programmer came out 20 years back, it was a phenomenon on its own! Numerous books, articles, and ideas have been generated out of it. This new 20th-century edition that just came out now will attract similar attention from the industry.

pragmatic-programmer

Here are some of the useful ideas outlined in this new edition.

  1. Try to be aware of the bigger picture –
    • think beyond the immediate problem
    • place the problem in its larger context
  2. Take responsibility for everything you do – 
    • don’t allow projects to fail through neglect
    • don’t be afraid to admit ignorance or error
    • be responsible for yourself, your career, your project, your day-to-day work
  3. Provide options instead of excuses –
    • analyze the issue
    • find alternative options or solutions
    • explain what can be done to resolve it
  4. Address software entropy (disorder) –
    • broken window theory
    • fix issues when it is discovered
  5. Develop well, based on what you know for sure and how to do it
  6. Develop good enough software –
    • involve your users in the trade-off
    • don’t’ develop ignoring user requirements
    • make quality a requirements issue
    • no code is perfect; so don’t spoil it by over-engineering and over-refinement
  7. Build your portfolio –
    • invest regularly, update knowledge
    • diversify your technical skills
    • experiment with different environments
    • manage risk: don’t put all your technical eggs in one basket
    • learn an emerging technology before it becomes popular
    • review and rebalance your skillset to stay current
    • learn a new programming language every year
    • read a technical book every quarter
    • take classes
  8. Communicate well –
    • know what you want to say
    • know your audience
    • choose your moment
    • choose a style and make it look good
    • involve your audience, be a listener, get back to people

 

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