The Productive Programmer (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly))

The Productive Programmer (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly))
Neal Ford
10 Jul 2008
Purchase online

Anyone who develops software for a living needs a proven way to produce it better, faster, and cheaper. The Productive Programmer offers critical timesaving and productivity tools that you can adopt right away, no matter what platform you use. Master developer Neal Ford not only offers advice on the mechanics of productivity--how to work smarter, spurn interruptions, get the most out your computer, and avoid repetition--he also details valuable practices that will help you elude common traps, im

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  1. Editorial Reviews
  2. Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews

Steven J. Thibault said
I do find this book somewhat useful, but about half way through, as another reviewer commented, the examples are too specific, and your left wondering how you start implementing/using each productivity tip far too often.

Lance C. Hibbeler said
This is one of those books that is on the 'must read' list for programmers of all skill fits easily on the same shelf as Code Complete and The Pragmatic Programmer. While other books focus on the principles of what to code, this book focuses on how to code, including what programs to use to assist in development and ease the eventual pains of debugging and improvement. Ford tries to be platform-agnostic by focusing on Windows, Mac OS, and Unix/Linux, but the Linux people do get the short end of the stick. Examples are discussed in terms of modern languages, but seemingly most of all Java and Ruby, so C/C++ and Fortran coders out there (including myself) will have to do a bit of thinking to take something practical away from some of the lessons of the book. Nevertheless, programmers of all languages and on all platforms will benefit from reading this book. Ford uses an easy-to-read and occasionally humorous tone that makes this book pretty easy to digest.

Some of the tips of the book are restating the lessons of The Pragmatic Programmer; while the importance of that book cannot be understated, Ford goes one step further to explicitly spell out the good coding practices by recommending (usually open-source) tools to help your endeavors, including version control, code coverage tools, multiple clipboards, macros, emphasis on keyboard over mouse, and distraction reducers/eliminators, just to name a few. You might want to be by a computer when you read this books, as Ford supplies web links that are definitely worth checking out. Because the emphasis of the book is on modern languages, Ford also discusses some of the peculiarities that arise when using object-oriented programming as well as suggestions on how to prevent getting bogged down in overhead, making your code easier to read, and so on.

I definitely recommend this book. After finishing the book and test-driving some of Ford's recommendations, I can say that I've been a more productive programmer, even though I don't really code in Java or Ruby. I do wish there were a bit more discussion in terms of C/C++ or other older languages and scientific (number cruncher) applications, but nevertheless I did learn a great deal of helpful hints from this book.

Baskin I. Tapkan said
This was recommended by another software architect friend of mine, and just finished reading it. It is relatively easy reading yet it goes over many well known (or should be well-known) programming practices and tips. I gave this book four stars because one thing I saw missing is the flow since the parts don't necessarily are linked together. Domain Driven Design or Behavior Driven design discussions were also missing. But given the immense amount of information in the field, those could be fine. Focused on Java.

The other comment I have is a lack of example while discussing Cygwin. The author discusses about several paragraphs long of installing, a concrete practical example is missing, at least IMO. Nonetheless, good book to read, concise and to the point.

Mostafa farghaly said
This book is very good, it'll teach you how to be productive in both driving your computer and writing your code and sure in making things happen . you will learn how to save alot of times and clickes to just one shortucut or one command line command , how to focus on your work and get rid of all the distractions from your computer and the work place , how to automate your repetitve tasks , and alot more concepts in writing code, testing and building and alot more . there's alot of programmers, but being productive programmer isnot easy job, this book will definitely help you digest this practices and adapt it in your working , of course recommended for all programmers .

John Keenan said
This book was disappointing for me on several fronts. To be fair, I am a mainly a C programmer (some Python ), and maybe could not fully appreciate the Java/Ruby focus.

The first half of the book had some good tips about common tools that could make you more productive ( for example multiple clipboards ) and some generic advice ( avoid distractions, block off quiet time ). The second half of the book was more Java/Ruby centric based around some "laws" and "stories". The author is obviously a clever man but I didn't really benefit. This is not a big book and has a cobbled together feel that left me asking "is that all?" It's the first O'Reilly book I have bought that left me disappointed. I would recommend instead buying "The Pragmatic Programmer".

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