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Code Complete 2. Good, but not a silver bullet

Oh goodie!, Code Complete 2 is on the horizon(via Shawn).

While many consider this book to be the "bible of coding", I can't help but feel overwhelmed by such a response. I read it, it is definitely good and has great information and advice, but to some extent I found it rather dry. The fact that I only knew VB when I read it might have helped this situation but, forget that for now. Say a new coder comes to my company. I slap them with this thickie and then what? can I actually expect a dev to read all this (assuming most everything there is news to them) and :

  • Remember everything?
  • Change all their habits`?
  • See the light?

Hardly. Changing habits (even new ones) comes only in one way that I know of: working on it. Not only that, to change a dev's ways one would have to mentor that dev into "seeing the light" and it would still be a slow,hard process for everyone involved. Like it or not, The amount of skill that a senior developer has in writing clean code, the stuff they take for granted as standard writing style, readable code, unit testing, and all those things which we praise day in and day out, that is a friggin' lot to learn for any person. And it takes a lot of time. I don't see myself ,during my junior developer days, getting to a point where I need to stop and ask myself "Wait, how would a loop be written using Code Complete way?". Not because I wouldn't want to, but because I would need someone to remind me to do that. Someone more experienced than I am, because I will not be able to see my mistakes.

Anyway, Code Complete is still a great book and , looking at the manuscript for the next version, there's a lot that looks very useful. I especially liked the parts about testing and developer testing(Test Driven Development)

X# video snagged my MS

Sam Gentile on Test Driven Development