The Developer's Code

The Developer's Code

by Ka Wai Cheung


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781934356791
Publisher: Pragmatic Programmers, LLC, The
Publication date: 02/14/2012
Pages: 250
Sales rank: 1,292,192
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Ka Wai Cheung is a developer, designer, and founding partner at We Are Mammoth, an award-winning team of web developers as passionate about approachability as they are about technology.

Ka Wai is also the co-author of Flash Application Design Solutions: The Flash Usability Handbook.


Interview with Ka Wai Cheung, Author of The Developer's Code

This is a book about what programmers do, and yet, there's only one chapter devoted to code. Do explain.

"First and foremost, there are plenty of great books on code, and it's very difficult to write one that reads fluidly and makes you feel like you're in the midst of development as you read it. I admire a really well written book like that—Joshua Kerievsky's Refactoring to Patterns comes to mind.

"The professional programmer has so much more to absorb these days. There's the client, co-worker, customer, time and changing requirements. And, I haven't even gotten to the programmer—staying motivated and productive through long development stretches, or maintaining that hubris that makes us want to contribute more to the community. I wanted to focus on those aspects of developer life more so than, say, best coding practices."

Is this a book just for software professionals?

"At the core, I'm speaking directly to new and veteran programmers alike. But, I'd like to think this book can be enjoyed by anyone interested in learning about a trade. I want this book to be approachable to the masses.

"This book isn't just talking to my fellow programmer, but it's my best explanation for how our industry works—this is what I do, how I do it, what I learned, where I made mistakes, and how I adjusted inside of an industry that's in constant flux. In that sense, I think it's a read that anyone can relate to."

What's the one piece of advice you could give to a new programmer just beginning the journey?

"When you're a newbie, you expect all the answers to be there. Here's the best way to program X, here's the best methodology for solving Y. You just want to plug-in and have all the answers for how to be a successful developer out in front of you. But, to a large extent, we're still making it up as we go. The types of apps, the audience, and the medium are constantly changing.

"Look at the NOSQL debate: relational databases have been the gold standard for years. Now that storage is cheap and a user base isn't simply localized to a corporation, the parameters for a 'well-performing' database have changed.

"For the new programmer, I recommend keeping an open mind and realizing this fact. How you're approaching work today may not be how you approach it a year from now. As an industry, we're in constant adjustment."

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