If you write computer programs of any sort, you should read Code Craft. While the book tends to focus on curly brace languages, the content of the book is not specific to any one language.
The book is divided into six parts:
- At the Codeface
- The Secret Life of Code
- The Shape of Code
- A Herd of Programmers?
- Part of the Process
- View from the Top
At the Codeface
The first part addresses defensive programming, error handling, programming styles, and the like. Some of this may sound elementary (particularly if you are a regular reader of this site), but it is ever amazing how much bad code and poor implementations exist "in the wild."
The Secret Life of Code
The second part helps the programmer to re-consider the task of programming. Goodliffe here addresses the dynamics of the programming activity and the building of tools to automate certain processes. Also included in this section are two chapters on unit testing (i.e., offensive programming) and error checking. By the end of this second chapter, even a novice programmer will have a grip on the fundamental dynamics of programming.
The Shape of Code
From these building blocks, the reader is then led into the caverns of software engineering, where grand designs are laid and great projects are planned. the author leads through the dynamics of software design methodologies and implementation strategies. Where other books go in-depth on design methods themselves (e.g., Pressman's [link url=http://erclk.about.com/?zi=5/uJT]Software Engineering ), Goodliffe complements these discussions and equips the reader for future methodological innovations.
A Herd of Programmers
As with the first two parts, the attention is first on the code design and then, in the fourth section, on the design of the programming environment. In this section is included the characteristics of quality programmers ("code monkeys"), how to work as a productive development team, and how to safely manage a project's source code.