This blog is going to have surfing, snowboarding, tech stuff and maybe some 'meaning of life' stuff if I'm feeling particularly stoked.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Code Complete

We spent all afternoon in Borders book store in Bellevue. I had forgotten just how huge & comfortable US bookstores can be. While Irish booksellers actively discourage people from sitting around reading books, in the US this is encouraged with comfy chairs, large tables and in-store coffee shops. I think the logic at home must be: "well if they sit around reading the books for free, they'll never buy anything" but this is so short-sighted and couldn't be further from the truth. While I did spend half an hour reading "Buying a Second Hand Car" books which I had no intention of buying and perusing all the latest surf magazines I also purchased "Caught Inside" by Daniel Duane, MSDN February edition and Code Complete, the second edition, by Steve McConnell. Gina also had to persuade me to leave at least two other books back!

Anyway this isn't about US retailing, it's about a great book which was overdue an updated second edition. The original "Code Complete" was published over 10 years ago and a personal copy was given to every new hire in the company I worked for as a placement student (and subsequently joined as a graduate). The book is on many peoples list of software engineering "classic" titles along with the likes of Knuths Art of Programming and Design Patterns by the gang of four. Unfortunately, as good as the book was, it really was in need of an overhaul in the light of many new (it's been 10 years remember) software development trends such as web development, agile methods and collaborative construction. It looks like it has got all this and more while retaining the very practical tone of the original.

Haven't read much of the book yet but from looking at the reviews on Amazon I reckon it will be just as good as the first edition.

Note to anyone reading from my old workplace back in Belfast: What about buying a personal copy of this book for new starts as part of their induction?

The snowboards have finally turned up, they were delivered by British Airways courier tonight. Maybe some riding next week if we get the forecast dump of snow which is badly needed.