Code Complete

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This runaway bestseller is a practical guide to software design that discusses the art and science of constructing software. Examples are provided in C, PascalTM, Basic, FORTRAN, and Ada, but the focus is on successful programming techniques.

Experience Level: All


Excellent exposition of the software development process, specifically the author examines the software construction process itself, based on common commercial ...

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1993 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 857 p. Audience: General/trade. lassroom Adoption; Computer software; Computers; ... Development; General; Handbooks, manuals, etc; Non-Fiction; Programming; Programming Languages; Reference; Software Development Read more Show Less

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Code Complete

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Overview

This runaway bestseller is a practical guide to software design that discusses the art and science of constructing software. Examples are provided in C, PascalTM, Basic, FORTRAN, and Ada, but the focus is on successful programming techniques.

Experience Level: All


Excellent exposition of the software development process, specifically the author examines the software construction process itself, based on common commercial practices with a strong emphasis on quality, workflow and scheduling improvements. This practical guide presents effective software development practices for problem definition, requirement analysis, implementation planning, design, construction and integration. Indeed the practical aspects of the entire development cycle are analyzed and explained including testing, maintenance and enhancement. Focuses on data control, quality improvement and craftsmanship, that elusive state that distinguishes professional competence from hacking. Source code is in C and Pascal, replete with "key point" notes and more importantly with "coding horror" analysis. Emphasizes code optimization, testing and troubleshooting for constant quality improvement.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
For ten years, Steve McConnell’s Code Complete has inspired programmers to get better at their profession and has given them powerful insights for doing so. Now, he’s thoroughly overhauled Code Complete to reflect all that’s happened since 1994. Web programming. Agile and collaborative methods. Patterns. Refactoring.

There are some code examples here -- now in C#, VB.NET, and Java. (And object-oriented techniques are now woven throughout.) But the heart of the book is still how to think more clearly at every level.

How much planning is enough for your project? How do you manage complexity? Choose the right language for the task? Write higher-quality code? Organize it effectively? Cope with the realities of integration? Few books deal well with questions like these. Code Complete, Second Edition does, and it’s indispensable. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2003 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

Booknews
The concepts discussed in this encyclopedic treatment are applicable to any procedural language in any computing environment. The presentation, intended to help developers take strategic action rather than fight the same battles again and again, includes some 500 examples of code (good and bad), along with checklists for assessment of architecture, design approach, and module and routine quality. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556154843
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Series: Code Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 857
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.17 (h) x 1.79 (d)

Meet the Author


Steve McConnell is Chief Software Engineer at Construx Software Builders where he divides his time between leading custom software projects, consulting on other companies' software projects, and writing books and articles. He is the author of Code Complete (1993) and Rapid Development (1996), both winners of Software Development magazine's Jolt award for outstanding software development books of their respective years. His most recent book is Software Project Survival Guide. McConnell has also written numerous technical articles and edits IEEE Software magazine's "Best Practices" column. He can be reached at stevemcc@construx.com.
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Read an Excerpt


From Chapter 20: Programming Tools

...20.6 Ideal Programming Environment

This section's description of an ideal programming environment is an excursion into programming fantasyland. Although such a vision is not immediately practical, this book about construction has a responsibility to define where construction tools should be going. All of the capabilities described in this section are easily within the reach of today's technology. Perhaps the description will serve as inspiration for an ambitious toolsmith who will create a programming environment that towers above the ones currently available.

For this discussion, the fantasy environment is called "Cobbler." The name is inspired by the old saying that the cobbler's children are the last to have new shoes, which is true of today's programmers and programming tools.

Integration

The Cobbler environment integrates the programming activities of detailed design, coding, and debugging. When source-code control is needed, Cobbler integrates source-code version control too. If the detailed-design practices suggested in this book are followed, the primary detailed-design tool required is PDL, which can be handled easily, even in text environments.

Language support

During code construction, Cobbler provides ready access to cross-referenced help on the programming language. Help discusses nuances of the language as well as the basics and mentions common problems in using features of the language. For error messages, Help lists the common problems that might give rise to each message.

The environment provides templates for language constructs so that youdon't need to remember the precise syntax for a case statement, a for loop, or a more unusual construct. The help systems provides a well-organized list of all available routines, and you can paste the template for a routine into your code.

Detailed cross-referencing

Cobbler enables you to generate a list of all the places in which a variable is used or receives a value. You can get help on a variable declaration the same way you's get help on any other topic, with ready access to the variable definition and comments about it.

You can retrieve information on routines just as easily. You can follow a chain of calls to routines up and down--pointing at the name of the routine you want to view in more detail. You can check variable types in a call to a routine with the touch of key.

Interactive views of program organization

The Cobbler environment radically changes the way you view program source text. Compilers read source files from beginning to end, and traditional development environments force you to view a program the same way. This is sequential and flat--far from what you need for a meaningful view of a program.

In Cobbler, you can view a tangle of routine names, graphically presented, and zoom in on any routine. You can choose the model that organizes the tangle of routines: hierarchy, network, modules, objects, or an alphabetical listing. Your high-level view isn't cluttered by a routine's details until you want to zoom in on them.

When looking at the guts of a routine, you can view them at any of several levels of detail. You can view only the routine's definition or only the comment prolog. You can view code only or comments only. You can view control structures with or without a display of the code they control. In languages with macro commands, you can view a program with the macros expanded or contracted. If they&#39re contracted, you can expend an individual macro with the touch of a key.

In writing this book, I've used a word processor with a powerful outline view. Without the outline view and the ability to study an outline and then zoom in on its detailed contents, I'd have a weak sense of each chapter's structure. The only view I'd see of each chapter would be flat, and the only sense of structure I'd have would come from scrolling from beginning to end. The ability to zoom between low-level and high-level views gives me a sense of the topology of each chapter, and that's critical to organizing my writing.

Organizing source code is as difficult as organizing writing. It's hard to believe that I lack any capability whatsoever to view the topology of my programs, especially when I've had a similar capability in my writing tools for more than five years.

The kinds of components that make up a program can also be improved. The semantics of source files are hazy, and the concept is better replaced by the ideas of modules, packages, or objects. The concept of source files is obsolete. You should be able to think about the semantics of your programs without worrying about how the code is physically stored.

Interactive formatting

Cobbler provides more active formatting aids than existing environments do. For example, it's graphical user interface makes outer parentheses larger than inner parentheses, as they have been displayed in mathematical texts for a hundred years.

The environment formats code according to user-specified parameters without resorting to a separate pretty-primer program. Any environment that knows about your program already knows where all your logical structures and variable declarations are. In Cobbler, you don't need to resort to a separate program to format your code. Some current environments provide feeble support for automatic indentation of control structures as you enter them. But when they're modified and 45 lines need to be shifted out six columns each, you're on your own. In the ideal programming environment, the environment formats the code according to the code's logical structure. If you change the logical structure, the environment reformats the code accordingly...

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Table of Contents

Checklists
Reference Tables
Preface
Laying the Foundation
1 Welcome to Software Construction 1
2 Metaphors for a Richer Understanding of Programming 7
3 Prerequisites to Construction 21
Design
4 Steps in Building a Routine 53
5 Characteristics of High-Quality Routines 71
6 Three out of Four Programmers Surveyed Prefer Modules 115
7 High-Level Design in Construction 139
Data
8 Creating Data 171
9 The Power of Data Names 185
10 General Issues in Using Variables 215
11 Fundamental Data Types 235
12 Complex Data Types 267
Control
13 Organizing Straight-Line Code 299
14 Using Conditionals 311
15 Controlling Loops 323
16 Unusual Control Structures 347
17 General Control Issues 367
Constant Considerations
18 Layout and Style 399
19 Self-Documenting Code 453
20 Programming Tools 493
21 How Program Size Affects Construction 513
22 Managing Construction 527
Quality Improvement
23 The Software-Quality Landscape 557
24 Reviews 573
25 Unit Testing 589
26 Debugging 623
Final Steps
27 System Integration 651
28 Code-Tuning Strategies 675
29 Code-Tuning Techniques 695
30 Software Evolution 737
Software Craftsmanship
31 Personal Character 755
32 Themes in Software Craftsmanship 773
33 Where to Go for More Information 793
Bibliography 809
Index 827
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2003

    Long Lasting Relevance

    I first read this book when it was published, and I was just graduating college. Since then I've built software in C, C++, and Pascal. I've built hardware with verilog and VHDL. I've built testbenches with Vera and E. This is the most relevant book, and I still have it on my shelf to loan to new graduates. It helps you to understand all of the most important concepts for developing hardware and software with any language imaginable. With all this, you would think that it is hard to read. But this book is written in an enjoyable style, a rare quality in engineering of any kind. Read it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 1999

    Your First Software Development Book

    Once you've learned the basics of programming, this is the book to get to fill out the 'big picture' of large development projects, AND help with all the little details. From algorithms to coding standards, project estimates to quality assurance, this book clearly overviews the field, and points you in the right direction for more detail. I lent my copy to a friend, so now I'm ordering TWO more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Best software development book

    Easily the best book on software development. The information is described clearly and the examples highlight the message. Many supporting references validate the author's observations and conclusions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Must rad for every software developer

    This is a must read for every software developer.

    In our software development company, we give a copy of this book to every new employee.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2004

    A pretty good set of guidelines

    I didn't agree with everything in this book, but I did agree with most of it. It's a pretty good set of guidelines and just relates the things that should be common knowledge among programmers but unfortunately obviously ain't. We've settled a lot of arguments with this book. Some have accused it of a Microsoft orientation, but I haven't seen that. I wish schools would start their computer-science track with a flowcharting class, then a class based on this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2000

    Required reading for all programmers

    I have found that no matter what programming language you use, this book provides many indespensible tools for building rock solid software. I have made it a habit to revisit this book at least once every 18 months to remind myself of the many ideals to software construction, and to gauge my working progress toward better code construction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2000

    An Essential Purchase

    This book will make you a better programmer, regardless of your level of experience, target operating system or language. It's that good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2003

    Software Construction in 800+ pages

    This book gave me an idea of software engineering as a whole. There are many advice which I believe would be very useful to any computer programmer.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2001

    The Time Machine

    I think the maddening wordiness, problematic with most books I read, wastes time and productivity outside the classroom. The purchaser has to highlight 3,500 pages of otherwise classic books, including McConnell and Nielsen, into 1,000 pages of system and program design fundamentals- essential for every professional.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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