Recent Books — Pragmatic Programmer, Refactoring, Patterns of Software, Code Complete, River Rats, Echo Wife

I’m cleaning some older books off the shelf, and peeking at them as I do:

  • The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. 20+ years old, and a little dated in its examples (CORBA?) and quotes (a Bill Cosby quote?), but still a solid source of guidance on very basic software craftsmanship.
  • Refactoring by Martin Fowler. Hasn’t aged as well. In a world of cloud services, asynch programming, containers, this just doesn’t seem to line up with the fault lines in modern software.
  • Patterns of Software by Richard P. Gabriel. I wanted to like this, and I suspect there is some great stuff in here, but too abstract and meta for me
  • Code Complete by Steve McConnell. Back before Stack Overflow, Github, online notebooks, great doc sites, this may have been a great guide to software development. Still great topics, but doesn’t seem like the best way to learn.

And then some new ones

  • They Called Us River Rats by Macon Fry. A look at the settlements along the batture in the New Orleans area. What a way to live.
  • The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey. Nicely paced although the purportedly super smart protagonist didn’t seem to think that far ahead sometimes — if you are super good at cloning people and you need to cover up a death, I don’t think it would take you more than a nanosecond to consider cloning the dead person.