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Code Complete 2

Thought some folks might like to know.  McConnell is publishing Code Complete 2, the manuscript is available online at http://www.stevemcconnell.com .

It's a preview version, but it's there (for now).

--Steve

Steve Barbour
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Thanks for the heads-up. I really enoyed his other books, including Code Complete.

The real Entrepreneur
Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Code Complete series are good books.  Great to read and learn.  The problem is following every bit of advice in them is next to impossible.  It's a game of give and take.  You can handle some of the advice, digest it and use it.  Imagine if you followed every single rule in the book.  You'd never finish.  It would be insane.  Did I do this right or that right.  Gotta rewrite this function because I when I wrote it I didn't think of the maintenance programmer etc etc.


Thursday, January 15, 2004

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!!

whatever
Thursday, January 15, 2004

The thing I like about McConnell's books is it gives me a better vocab.  Plus, it really helped answer, "What do these other developers do?"  It's not important exactly what's in it, but it really helps getting the social context behind many tools and teams one might see.  Especially since I tend to feel like an outsider to software dev, even when I'm doing it.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Just bought Code Complete One few days before.

I did it because of something I found somewhere on
Amazon (or was it around here...?)

"books like Code Complete, which has some fun stories
about the development of Excel".

But when I opened it for the first time I saw nothing
about Excel, at least for now.

Since I have other book named "Barbarians Led by Bill
Gates" (sorry if anyone is offended), which has some
interesting stories about first Excel for Mac and since Joel
made some comments about "development of Excel" here,
does anyone know of a book with more data on "How
Excel was to be".

VPC
Thursday, January 15, 2004

"books like Code Complete, which has some fun stories
about the development of Excel".

I think the author is confusing two Steves. "Writing Solid Code", an MS book by Steve MacGuire (sp), should have the stuff about Excel.

SG
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Personally, I rather see him finish the book "Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art" see http://www.stevemcconnell.com/est.htm

I wonder how his consulting company (Construx Software) is doing nowadays? I also wonder how many companies (if any) have purchased CxOne - Construx Software's development methodology. Note: Construx calls CxOne a scalable software engineering framework.

Several years ago, I read his Professional Development Ladder web page which is now semi-private and located at http://www.construx.com/professionaldev/organization/pdl/. This web page describes the steps (requirements) Construx's employees need to go through in order to earn a promotion. Although some people I know believe McConnell has become too academic for their taste, I think deep down he is still a frustrated software practitioner because you won't find that type of attention to the small but important details at most companies.

One Programmer's Opinion
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Thank you for the excellent links!

MX
Friday, January 16, 2004

The site clarifies that it's not "Code Complete 2" really, it's "Code Complete Second Edition."  Updated, rewritten, perhaps, but not exactly a whole nother book.

Kyralessa
Friday, January 16, 2004

Sorry, I should've specified.

Steve Barbour
Friday, January 16, 2004

All of the examples are from C++, Visual Basic  and Java. I was never able to find the first edition in a bookshop here, but I would think that that alone would make a difference.

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

>> I think the author is confusing two Steves....

Thanks, SG.

Now your sentence is copy/pasted to my NotePad and
I hope you are right. If not, well anyway - CodeComplete
seems to be great book even without things that I was
looking for.

VPC
Friday, January 16, 2004

I just bought this a few days ago.  Anyone know if there is anything radically different between the two version?

Zekaric
Friday, January 16, 2004

Send it to me and I'll compare it to my copy of the first edition and let you know.  :)

Kyralessa
Friday, January 16, 2004

You can't buy it; it's not out until June 2004. What you can do is download all one thousand pages of the manuscript from the web site. I've just spent a couple of hours starting to print it all out.

All the examples are from  C++ or Java or Visual Basic so there must be a fair difference. In fact it appears to be a siginificant rewrite even if many of the principles remain the same.

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

Like everyone here, I have the original and found it extremely valuable and well written, though of course one has to decide for themselves which things to agree with and are relevant to a given project.

I am really thrilled that he is offering his galley copies for free over the web. That's great for those of us whe already paid and just want to read the new material.

On the other hand, it looks like the book has been totally rewritten, so it really is more of a CC2 than a CC 2ed. So I may spring for the full version anyway.

From my initial readings it looks like he has done tremendous work bringing it up to date not only with current languages, but has also altered some of his advises to be more in line with the changes in his own perspective on best practices over the years.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, January 16, 2004

Also wanted to posit a new Pattern:

Excepting textbooks, any computer science book that makes it to a 2nd edition is worth taking a look at.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, January 16, 2004

"Excepting textbooks, any computer science book that makes it to a 2nd edition is worth taking a look at."

Corollary:

"Updates to stay compatible with the latest version of the software (e.g. Teach Yourself IE 6 in 24 Hours) don't count."

Joe
http://www.joegrossberg.com

Joe Grossberg
Friday, January 16, 2004

I want a mannly man profile picture of me against the Cascade mountains.  Mmmm beefcake.

hoser
Friday, January 16, 2004

Sure beats the Wrox covers doesn't it?

Stephen Jones
Saturday, January 17, 2004

Is it just me, or if you actually followed all or even most of McConnell's guidelines, would you just not ever get anything done?

Don't get me wrong, I do a lot of it instinctively.  I am always the one that thinks code is a mess.  But he takes it to another level.  Sometimes, you just gotta get the job done.

I own the first one, and found it a little bit obvious for the most part, and found the section on formatting code to be a waste of time.  He tries to rationalize personal preference, and thinks that the way he does it is logically correct.

There were also some real head-thumpers, like "when programming C, use the 'star' rule to tell if a parameter can be modified by a function call", or something like that.

Andy
Saturday, January 17, 2004

In the intro he says that while he changed the whole book, the one think he didn't change, the one sacred cow was the analogy that successful development is based on the analogy of building construction - the architect designs and the interchangeable brickies you hire on the street corner slap together the code. Of course he is emotionall commited to this vision since he named his company after it.

Me, I say successful coding teams are put together exactly like baseball teams.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, January 17, 2004

Has it not been over a decade since McConnell has been a working programmer?  What new insight could he possibly  offer anymore to a field he doesn't work in?

I rather agree with Dennis Atkins' position when the goal is to build a simple business application, as in IT shops with modest goals, so long as you have a really superb player/captain.  But anything more lofty will be a mess if it isn't the result of a single, sharp vision, and it's very rare to find many talented programmers with the exact same vision.  I think most really great software is the result of a single person's vision.

That said, if you hire only extremely talented programmers, pay them a lot, stay out of their way, give them a suitable environment and only tools of their own choosing, and you test the hell out of the code, you'll will always end up with something soon, exceedingly good, and easy to adapt to new requirements.

veal
Monday, January 19, 2004

veal,

You heretic you!

Agreed.

Dennis Atkins
Monday, January 19, 2004

I don't know of any book of equivalent scope to Code Complete, where you actually could apply every single rule and guideline. To me the value of covering all the bases is that the breadth of scope means that there will be more material that a programmer will be able to apply in his or her individual situation.

When I was working as an independent software developer, I used Code Complete to solve a problem common to many independent developers -- that of client education. Oftentimes the clients just don't know enough to be able to evaluate your work. They focus on the wrong things, make less of important things, and so on.

I actually used to write it into all my contracts that the client (my customer) was required to use selected Code Complete checklists to evaluate the work I submitted. In many contracts I required specific roles on the client team to read chapters or sections in Code Complete and write an explanation of how they applied to the project. That would ferret out misconceptions and would also achieve the result of getting everyone "on the same page".

I corresponded with Steve McConnell about that, and he said that he never envisioned anyone using the material that way.

Additionally, I know several programmers who have used the arguments and explanations in Code Complete and Rapid Development to educate their bosses, with good results.

The great benefits of the book to me in my own peculiar experience with it have left me very enthusiastic about it, even 10 years later.

I don't know how much programming Steve does these days, but as Chief Software Engineer and as a mentor, I don't think he's too far away from the issues. I have often learned a lot when mentoring others, a few times surprising myself that I didn't come to a certain conclusion earlier as a programmer. But non-programmer roles in projects give you a chance to step back, and see the forest where before you were in the midst of the trees. You knew there was a forest -- it was all around -- but the size and shape of it were not within view.

But when it comes to any book related to my work, I'm happy if I get one or two good ideas from it that I can use. Usually that's worth the price of the book.

I happened to luck out with Code Complete, because it gave me a lot in my particular business situation, that wasn’t available elsewhere.

Ray Bernard
Sunday, February 22, 2004

fuck u

as
Wednesday, February 25, 2004

m&#305;n&#305;za goyim hemi...

fe
Wednesday, February 25, 2004

If you are interested in Steve McConnell and "Code Complete 2" and live in the Puget Sound (Seattle) area, you are welcome to attend Steve's presentation this Monday, March 8th. I believe that this will be Steve's first presentation on Code Complete 2 materials.

More information at http://www.wsa.org/events/event.asp?EventID=376 or ping me at mikem at jetsoft dot com for more info.

Event is free for WSA members and NWCPP members, $15 for others. You can become an NWCPP member for free beforehand if you wanna avoid the charge.

Jetguy
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

suk my wang!!!

Joe
Saturday, August 21, 2004

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