Review of the book Pragmatic Programmer

Cover book of The Pragmatic Programmer

Comments about the book

To my mind this book is mind blowing. The first time i read it , it was a revelation. Thanks to it,  I grasped the use of systematic Unit Testing.

Before reading it, I was doing unit testing systematically while bug fixing. This was because of the strong policy of my first company.

After, I also understood many other programming practices. I realised that Unit testing or automatic testing is one of the most important tasks to do while programming. It allows automatic regression test and easier maintenance and bug fixing..

Another idea important to me : code only once policy. No duplication allowed. This is what i have been implementing so far .

Addtitionally, the use of design patterns is really useful to maintain the code . Before reading the book, as a young engineer getting from university, I barely knew what it was useful for. Design pattern is a skill you can implement whatever object language you use : C++,C# ,Java,etc… I have used it with these programming languages with success. It allows better extensibility and maintainability of the code.

Whenever there is a choice between different algorithms or possibility of extensions : use design pattern. The factory pattern is the one that I used the most in the end.

Advice for a young programmer

I would advice to a young engineer to start reading this book. Indeed, it introduces you with many skills you will need to learn if you want to be an excellent programmer. To my mind, the first things you will need to learn are :

  • To add systematically unit test in your code. If you want to go further: use TDD method.
  • Have a platform which launch your unit tests everyday . Be proactive: if it does not exist, suggest one to your manager. This is very important because without it your unit tests are not used. And therefore they are useless.
  • When you resolve a bug , first reproduce the bug. The best way is to reproduce the bug with a Unit test. Make the test failed at first,when the test is reproduced,the test should pass when you found the fix.
  • Use the ‘no duplication’ of code policy.  It is better to factorise the code to avoid duplication. In the long run the maintenance of the code is easier.
  • Use design patterns to make the code more extensible. When you develop a solution in programming, you should always think long term. For example: you need to develop a simple algorithm but maybe you will use a different one in the future. Use the factory method pattern in order to call easily a different algorithm in the future.
  • Learn MVC design pattern. It teaches how to separate the UI interface into several layers. It is important to have a user interface clearly separated into different modules in order to modify change of technology later.
  • Use Sonar to improve your coding skills. This tool when used with Jenkins, will show the problem in the code.

All these tips come from the book, therefore don’t hesitate to read it. It teaches lot of important skills that experienced programmer will only learn after years of development.

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