Better Programmer

Becoming a Better Programmer, Pete Goodliffe

New programmers will benefit from reading this book, and applying its recommended development practices. It is important enough that I will claim that your career will taken to a new level. My experience working with many programmers is that at least half of them needed to adopt the practices covered by this book (not you of course!).

Experienced programmers will get a queasy feeling, knowing they have cut some corners to get code delivered a day or so earlier, and that it will come back to bite them soon.

This is not an Extreme Programming (XP) book, though the author seems in favour of XP. It is more about how to program, design, and test well. I particularly liked the explanation of Technical Debt, which other books and blogs mention without explaining.

Read the e-book on the bus to work!

C Pointers

Understanding and Using C Pointers
By Reese, Richard Martin – 2013

Programmers will want to read this book. I mean youngsters who have got good at PHP and Javascript but do not know about pointers and want their code to run blazing fast without heartbleed bugs. I mean, supposing they have not discovered Rust language, which does away with worries about using uninitialized vars or going out of bounds.

This reminds me of my first senior role, and a new Eng grad who told me he had found a compiler bug. I thought to my self ‘not likely’ and picked out a pointer bug in his code.

I have not read this book yet, but it is from O’Reilly so it will be good, and I am counting on it to discuss smart pointers.

C++ Primer

C++ Primer By Lippman, Stanley B. – 2013

Programmers who use C++ will want to read this book to get up to date with the C++11 standard. As you would expect, it is large at 900 pages, but it is clearly written. Unfortunately we have to search to page 450 to find out about smart pointers. If I was starting out learning C++, I would choose this book first. After many years with C++, it is still teaching me more.