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%A Andrew Hunt %A David Thomas %T The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master %D October 1999
Imagine two top-notch programmer's get together and write down all those hard-won techniques that really make them shine. That's how it feels to read this book. If you're an experienced programmer's, at times you'll think "Ha! I knew that already". But even so, seeing it written down in such a clear fashion and the sheer number of different lessons to learn amazed me.
Compared to books like "Code Complete", this book focuses less on the actual part of writing the code and more on all the supporting activities and techniques that make you really productive. The book is very "XP-like" or "pro-agile" if you want. There is a big emphasis on avoiding duplication and on automation.
They way the authors express their ideas in sound-bites is really great and the book comes with a handy tear-out quick reference guide. My favorite is the DRY principle: Don't Repeat Yourself. Another great one is "Don't Live with Broken Windows". You'll have to buy the book to find out what it means!
The author's maintain a very nice web site about their book. It also includes other interesting articles.