Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction. Redmond, Wa.: Microsoft Press, 880 pages, 1993. Retail price: $35. ISBN: 1-55615-484-4. 

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Warren Keuffel, Software Development

"Microsoft Press has published what I consider to be the definitive book on software construction. This is a book that belongs on every software developer's bookshelf. Code Complete comprises 95% of the accumulated wisdom of software construction-written from the practicing programmer's point of view. Imagine reading some 300-odd papers and books on software construction-from requirements analysis to system integration-then synthesizing them into an 850-page reference covering all phases of the software development life cycle. McConnell has made a tremendous contribution to software development literature."

Jeff Dunteman, PC Techniques

"Every half an age or so, you come across a book that short-circuits the school of experience and saves you years of purgatory. ... Steve McConnell has given us 860 pages that span the universe of code creation in the generic; that is, the principles that govern all programming in any traditional structured language like C, Pascal, Basic, or Ada. ... This is the polar opposite of those boring high-level books on methodologies. ... The book makes the best use of 'marginal information' ... I've ever seen. My favorite element is the 'coding horror' icon that shows a programming screaming with the hair standing straight out from his head. ... I cannot adequately express how good this book really is. Code Complete is a pretty lame title for a work of brilliance."

IEEE Micro

"If you are or aspire to be a professional programmer, this may be the wisest $35 investment you'll ever make. McConnell's stated purpose is to narrow the gap between the knowledge of industry gurus and common commercial practice. To do this he sets out to explain everything important that those gurus know about programming. The amazing thing is that he succeeds."

Peter Coffee, PC Week

"We were quite impressed by "Code Complete." ... [it] is a pleasure to read, either straight through or as a reference. Its margins are marked with distinctive icons for Hard Data, Key Point, Coding Horror and Further Reading, as well as frequent cross-references to related items in the book. The margins are also highlighted by quotations (both serious and whimsical) from writers as diverse as Albert Einstein and Douglas Adams. Written not for end users but for those who develop software and those who manage developers, Code Complete is especially worth the time of these power users and their managers."

Grady Booch, Object Solutions

"A comprehensive examination of the tactical issues that go into crafting a well-engineered program. McConnell's work covers such diverse topics as architecture, coding standards, testing, integration, and the nature of software craftsmanship."

T. L. (Frank) Pappas, Computer

"Every programmer should read this outstanding book."

Tommy Usher, C Users Journal

"Whatever your background, Code Complete has something to offer you. Even the most experienced C programming will find ideas for improvement. The author writes in an entertaining style and makes good use of code segments to illustrate his points. ... This book will benefit any programmer who approaches it with an open mind. Even when I disagreed with the author's approach, I could see his point. I was pleasantly surprised by his willingness to challenge conventional wisdom. ... Code Complete should be required reading for anyone who plans to begin or continue a career in software development."

Philip Metzger and John Boddie, Managing a Programming Project

"McConnell's Code Complete [pub info] is an excellent book that concentrates on showing programmers how to write better programs. It's written for 'C' programmers, but its lessons can be understood by any programmer who uses a procedural language. Get a copy of this book for yourself and also get a copy for each of your programmers."

Tyler Sperry, Embedded Systems Programming

"This well-written but massive tome is arguably the best single volume ever written on the practical aspects of software implementation."

Jim Kyle, Windows Tech Journal

"Steve McConnell's remarkable Code Complete [pub info] covers most aspects of software construction. Although the book is subtitled A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, the breadth of topics addressed and their exhaustive treatment make the book a modern encyclopedia of programming. Building assertions into programs is just one way to help improve quality; McConnell's book explains all the techniques and provides references to relevant material."

Edward Kenworthy, .EXE Magazine

"This is the best book on software engineering that I have yet read. It is readable, well thought out and deserves a place on any developer's bookshelf."

Chris Robbins, The Profession

"Over one and a half inches thick, weighing three and a quarter pounds, containing over 800 pages of recycled paper, and costing just under 30--however you choose to measure it, this book gives exceptional value for money."

Peter Wright, Program Now

"The range of topics is phenomenal, including specification, design, writing modular code, variable naming, the psychology of the programmer, and how to manage your manager. It includes numerous references and a plethora of statistics, some of which are real eye openers. If you think you are the best, this is the book to teach you some humility. If you are more modest then Code Complete is an excellent way to improve not only your technical abilities, but also your entire way of thinking. This book deserves to become a classic, and should be compulsory reading for all developers, and those responsible for managing them."


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