Friday, June 10, 2005

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Book Log: The Pragmatic Programmer

This book by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas is aptly described by its title. It describes pragmatic practices that experienced programmers follow in their day-to-day work. The focus is very much on low-level, practical tips.

I found the advice given to be generally very sound and useful. There were few surprises for me (I've been programming for more than 20 years), but it was good to be reminded of some of the neater tricks of the trade. The most useful section for me was on estimation. I really liked the idea of consciously adjusting the units used for time estimates according to the length of the estimate. This table from page 65 has already come in handy:

DurationQuote estimate in
1-15 daysdays
3-8 weeksweeks
8-30 weeksmonths
30 + weeksthink hard before giving an estimate