Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction

Product Description
For more than a decade, Steve McConnell, one of the premier authors and voices in the software community, has helped change the way developers write code–and produce better software. Now his classic book, CODE COMPLETE, has been fully updated and revised with best practices in the art and science of constructing software. Whether you’re a new developer seeking a sound introduction to the practice of software development or a veteran exploring strategic new approach…

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Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction


  1. It was a pleasure to find out that this book had been updated when I reads news of it. CC2 is a great one-stop ‘place’ to go to when you want a great excuse to apply Stephen Covey’s ‘Sharpen The Saw’ principle. This updated version has some solid, fantastic, expert instruction on designing from scratch, whether it’s OO, writing better routines, psuedocode, nested loops, or at the higher level: agile methods, etc..

    McConnell’s approach of talking to you, the programmer, is ideal: not too much humor, and an easy to read, but professional approach in the way he donates the contents of his brain: i.e. McConnell’s lengthy experience in the field.

    I read just a couple of paragraphs in a chapter before work one morning, and the advice I picked up saved so much time that same day. And it wasn’t even specific to coding instruction. It was a piece of advice on a philosophy on how he personally determines how much upfront design he should settle on before coding.

    Reading Software Construction material of this caliber, as compared to some, yet another, new book on a specific language that might look impressive to know, is what makes for a solid programmer.

    Refreshing your overall S/W construction knowledge gives you so much more of your life back, because you will have way less bugs and a lot more fun maintaining the high-quality code you are now writing because of CC2.

    I mentioned already that he covers OO, but I wanted to emphasize the excellent material he offers in this area. I am now seeing the benefit of measuring the quality of your classes by this guideline: are they true Abstract Data Types. ( rather than just trying to use the syntax that the language provides to its potential).

    Great job on a rather thorough re-write of a S/W development staple.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. I don’t know how much more I can say about this book that hasn’t been said already but I will do my best to describe my experience with this book.

    Have you ever looked at a class, or a method that seems to work fine but it just doesn’t “feel” right? For some reason it seems as if that method or class may be hard to debug in the future or that the code is hard to understand. Or have you gone back to a class file you wrote months ago and you spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out what the heck is going on with that class file? Maybe the methods in the class are spaghetti like in nature, or maybe the names of your methods don’t have a very good description so it’s hard to figure out how everything ties together. I have had this problem. This book will teach you how to get out of those habits. You will learn what a solid class or method looks like. You will learn how properly naming your classes and methods can greatly reduce complexity in the long run. Everything is backed by hard evidence. I should also mention that this is just one chapter in this wonderful book.

    This book really drills down proper programming practices. A lot of times you may read a passage and think to yourself “well, of course!”… but then you realize you don’t practice what’s contained in the passage you just read. This book is great for both new programmers and experienced programmers alike. New programmers benefit greatly because they will learn how to construct software properly without having to go through all of the hoops. Experienced programmers will also learn a great deal, as well as be reminded that some of their habits that they’ve developed over the years can hinder production and cause software development to become more complex then it really is.

    Steve writes in a very clean style. It’s very easy to read. You don’t need to memorize anything in a book like this, instead you just need to gain an understanding of the concepts he brings forth. After reading this book I definitely follow a lot of his advice. When I build a new class, method or what-have-you I get a certain feeling of when it seems right and when something seems wrong. I am now much better at analyzing my code and figuring out what doesn’t seem correct and I take his advice I learned in this book to help me to figure out – and correct the problem. After reading this book I feel like a lot of my rough edges as a developer have been rounded out. I feel as if I gained a years worth of experience just by reading this book.

    This book is friendly for any software developer. The concepts he presents apply to all languages. This is a book that teaches you how to think about programming better and how to construct good solid code. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. If you’re even thinking about buying this book, then buy it.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Code Complete, first edition, has long been regarded as ?The Bible? for software development. Dare I say, CC2 is even better than the original. It has been thoroughly updated to include OO, internet and web development, as well as new best practices such as test-first development, pair programming, and refactoring.

    Steve McConnell provides a balanced, thoughtful discussion of competing approaches to software development. He also provides a wealth of references to additional materials covering specific topics in more detail. In a field that is often defined by religious arguments, CC2 stays objective on most topics. At the same time, McConnell does not shy away from stating his conclusions on topics that he believes have a clear-cut ?best choice?.

    Overall, this book is as much of a ?must have? as the first edition and destined to become just as famous.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Code Complete by Steve McConnell is the convergence (the crossroads) of experience, research, and theory. This book is invaluable, the Holy Grail of programming reference books. McConnell’s writing style is clear, concise, easy to understand and often humorous.

    Programmers on every level (from introduction to master) will benefit from reading this book. Programmers at the introduction level may find some topics advanced, but references to additional resources are close at hand. This book covers a broad range of interconnected topics ranging from: variable names, code-tuning, personal character, managing your manager, gonzo programming and much more. The emphasis is always on successful software design techniques.

    McConnell doesn’t shy away from presenting hard data and details; he nails the “whys” that so many other texts avoid.

    Selected quotes from Code Complete:

    “People have already made all the mistakes that you’re making now, and unless you’re a glutton for punishment, you’ll prefer reading their books and avoiding their mistakes to inventing new versions of old problems.” (Chapter 35)

    “Once a programmer realizes that programming principles transcend the syntax of any specific language, the doors swing open to knowledge that truly makes a difference in quality and productivity.” (Preface)

    “The value of hands-on experience as compared to book learning is smaller in software development than in many other fields” (Chapter 35)

    It’s interesting to note that Code Complete is a required read to become a practitioner (intermediate) level employee in McConnell’s company (Construx).

    Code Complete is often compared with The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master [Hunt, Andrew, and Thomas, David]; the topics covered in the Pragmatic Programmer are a small subset of Code Complete. Code Complete is consistently written at a higher level, and offers more references for continual research and professional development. But don’t take my word for it; read both, the Pragmatic Programmer makes a good prerequisite to Code Complete.

    Hailing this book as “The Holy Grail of programming references” may seem fanatical, but I have yet to find a book that remotely measures up to Code Complete.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. Code Complete 1 completely changed the way I wrote programs in the mid 90s. Reading CC1 made me realize that I was still an amateur programmer and reading it marked the beginning of my career as a professional programmer. In more recent years, much as I liked CC1, the book began to show its age, and the examples especially started to look dated.

    I pre-ordered CC2 and have spent the past 2 weeks devouring its contents. CC2 does not disappoint. McConnell has once again distilled his insights into a practical handbook that should be on every software development professional?s bookshelf.

    CC2 provides numerous benefits: it?s a complete software-construction reference. It provides dozens of checklists. And it contains no hype. It?s valuable to beginning programmers, team leads, and technically oriented managers. The tone is conversational with just the right amount of humor. Throughout the book, it?s clear that Steve has ?been there, done that.? Thank you Steve!!!

    Rating: 5 / 5

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