Preventative Programming Techniques: Avoid and Correct Common Mistakes

Overview

Preventative Programming Techniques provides programmers with a clear and intelligent approach to detecting, preventing, and correcting the most common mistakes. It includes practical ways to reduce problems that occur every day, and provides methods for correcting problems that already exist. Using a medical metaphor, each of the common problems is presented as an illness. Each illness is then presented in a structured approach that includes a basic description, common symptoms, prevention methods, cures, and ...
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Overview

Preventative Programming Techniques provides programmers with a clear and intelligent approach to detecting, preventing, and correcting the most common mistakes. It includes practical ways to reduce problems that occur every day, and provides methods for correcting problems that already exist. Using a medical metaphor, each of the common problems is presented as an illness. Each illness is then presented in a structured approach that includes a basic description, common symptoms, prevention methods, cures, and related illnesses to look for.The majority of the principles and practices espoused are language independent and focus on instructing programmers how to detect and avoid problems. It also includes guidelines on determining when and how to refactor or rewrite code. Some of the major and minor illnesses found throughout programming, include premature optimization, CAP (cut and paste) epidemic, NIH (not invented here) syndrome, complexification, oversimplification, docuphobia, and more. If you're a programmer, you've made these mistakes or you've had to deal with code that has them in it.To learn how to prevent and fix these problems, check out all of the illnessesyou're sure to find insightful tips for your own projects. Novice programmers will benefit greatly from reading through each category of illness from start to finish, and experienced programmers will benefit from the insightful tips and anecdotes.
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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Ten “illnesses” afflict virtually every programmer. Left untreated, these illnesses kill projects. We’ll bet you’re infected. Brian Hawkins has your diagnosis -- and your cure.

Do you suffer from “Premature Optimization” -- investing precious time in optimization before it’s required? Perhaps you don’t think this is a disease? Optimizations often add dependencies between classes or modules that make your code more brittle. It’s often impossible to predict the ultimate impact of an early optimization: Thanks to cache misses and page faults, many optimizations actually reduce performance. Time spent optimizing is time you aren’t spending getting to market, or implementing business-critical features. And your too-early optimizations may not even survive to the finished software.

Perhaps you’re a victim of the CAP (cut-and-paste) epidemic? Casually duplicating code without the discipline of centralized code repositories and libraries is just asking for bugs. Tough bugs. Don’t like to annotate your code? That’s Docuphobia. And, says Hawkins, it can be managed, if not cured.

Hawkins offers detailed C++ and Java code "symptoms" that help you identify the presence of many of these maladies -- from "Complexification" and "Not Invented Here Syndrome" to "Requirements Deficiency" and "Myopia" (shortsighted development practices). He also offers specific "first aid," and a CD-ROM "doctor’s bag" full of curative demos and open source software: automated documentation generators (Doxygen and Doc-o-Matic), source control managers (Perforce and WinCVS), and more.

Step No. 1 is admitting you have a problem. Step No. 2 is reading this book. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Brian Hawkins (Los Angeles, CA) began his career doing research at JustSystem Pittsburgh Research Center where he focused on scripted character animation using natural language. He worked at Activision as the game core lead on Star Trek: Armada and contributed to Civilization: Call to Power and Call to Power 2. He also worked for Seven Studios as lead programmer on Defender and now operates his own development company, Soma Inc. He holds a BS in mathematics and computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and is the author of Preventative Programming Techniques.
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