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©Copyright: 2005
Steve Kirks

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  Monday, April 26, 2004

Eric Sink's Book Review: Coder to Developer

Tagged here as a reminder to buy this book:

I recently read Coder to Developer, by Mike Gunderloy. Very good book.

Mike covers an assortment of topics, all of which are important to software development:

  • Choosing features
  • Architecture
  • Using source control
  • Using exceptions and assertions
  • Using an IDE
  • Examining source code
  • Code generation tools
  • Bug-tracking
  • Logging
  • Working on small teams
  • Documentation
  • Builds
  • Licensing
  • Installers

This is the stuff which is typically not taught. This is the stuff which people fresh out of college don't know, and everybody expects them to just learn it as they go. This is the stuff which distinguishes true developers from mere programmers.

This book mentions a lot of specific technologies and tools, and it's very current right now. However, I plan to be fussing at Mike every two years for an updated edition. Ten years from now, these important topics will still be the difference between coders and developers.

Gunderloy is a fine writer, and the book is enjoyable to read. There's an excellent foreword from Joel Spolsky as well.

I highly recommend Coder to Developer for all programmers, especially those working in a small ISV.

Disclosure: Mike Gunderloy is a fan of SourceGear Vault, and this is evident in the book. The truth is that I would recommend this book even if all mention of SourceGear were removed. However, I think it is appropriate to disclose the facts.


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