For years I had been planning to read Steve McConnell's Code Complete. It is one of these books that constantly is quoted. I remember the technical lead in Damgaard's early days had a copy of the book, he often referred to it, but didn't promote it within the organization. So last spring during a 10 week paternity leave, I read the whole thing, cover-to-cover. The only thing I regret is that I didn't do it earlier.
This holiday season I planned a quick read-through of one of Steve McConnell's other works: Rapid Development. This book was published in 1996, and I expected the contents to be somewhat outdated by more recent development methodologies. However, Rapid Development is not another methodology, it is "just" a bible of common sense that can be applied during software development to achieve rapid (as in fast, speedy, not slow) development. I'm now half way through the book, and I find myself looking forward to opening the book each night. I've also caught my self rereading some of the paragraphs, not because they are poorly written, or because I'm half asleep, but because they are oh-so-true! This book deserves more than a quick skim, even in 2007.
If you ever are going to write a single line of code, you must read: Code Complete.
If you ever are going to manage, lead, or hire someone to do a software project, you must read: Rapid Development.
If this was true for all the people I interact with, my life would be so much more fun. I cannot recommend these books any clearer.