TER Volume 14, Number 1, June 2007: Review of Code Craft

Technology Electronic Reviews
Volume 14, Number 1, June 2007

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REVIEW OF: Pete Goodliffe. (2007) Code Craft: The Practice of Writing Excellent Code. San Francisco, CA: No Starch Press. (ISBN: 1593271190 ; 9781593271190). 624 pp. $44.95.

By Bryan Kaplan

Code Craft by Pete Goodliffe presents a highly organized methodology for approaching the writing and revising of programming code. Many people consider themselves programmers because they write code that's functional. This book aims to take those individuals and show them how to write code which is well written and easy to understand. Code Craft presents examples and advice that is not specific to any one programming language. Instead, Goodliffe presents best practices that can be universally applied in a clear and concise manner.

Many programming books can either serve as teaching material or reference material, but very few can do both. Code Craft can be read cover to cover as an instruction manual or a reader can select an individual section for review. The major sections of Code Craft cover areas such as code layout and presentation, variable and function naming, error handling, code testing, security, and source control.

The book also sheds light on personality traits of different types of programmers, illustrating good programming methods versus bad programming methods.

Goodliffe's writing flows well from one topic to the next and the points that he addresses are relevant to the intended audience. The book also contains numerous discussion topics which can be used as part of in-house training by managers or for classroom based learning. The book also contains sidebars with meaningful stories based on real-world experiences.

Other highlights included are Q&A sections can be used for a classroom environment. Additionally, numerous inspiring and humorous quotations and illustrations are scattered throughout the text.

Bryan Kaplan is the Vice President of Operations for Collaborative Fusion, Inc. and based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Copyright © 2007 by Bryan Kaplan. This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for noncommercial, educational, or scientific purposes, provided that the preceding copyright statement and source are clearly acknowledged. All other rights are reserved. For permission to reproduce or adapt this document or any part of it for commercial distribution, address requests to the author.