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Hardcover Psychology of Computer Programming Book

ISBN: 0442292643

ISBN13: 9780442292645

Psychology of Computer Programming

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

This classic volume probes how a program reflects its writer's personality; the effects of working environment on productivity; and many additional computer psychology issues.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Timeless Insight into the Mind of the Programmer

The book's present-day relevance was amazing. The similarities in the behavior and interaction of the programmers of today and the programmers of old provides a unique perspective. This perspective highlights what makes some individual programmers and programming teams succeed regardless of the techology or decade they're working in.Because of my background in psychology and my more recently acquired expertise in programming, this book quickly found a special resonance with me. Weinberg's grasp on both programmer attitudes and the psychological framework make this book one-of-a-kind.

A must for every professional

Some younger programmers may get impatient with the Weinberg's references to obsolete activities, such as keypunching and submitting a debugging run, but they shouldn't stop reading. Nearly every page of this book conveys valuable insights into the nature of programming. The book is readable and entertaining, a professional book you'll read for pleasure and re-read. Weinberg adds no new chapters, nor does he edit obsolete content. Even the pagination is the same as in the original. Instead the Silver Anniversary Edition appends to each chapter a "Comments on the chapter" section in which the author relates the content you've just read to the world of today.

A timeless way to build software

One of the growing movements in software development is the use of patterns. Based on the work of Christopher Alexander as described in his books, A Pattern Language, Oxford University Press, 1977 and The Timeless Way of Building, Oxford University Press, 1979, it entered the computing field with the publication of the classic book Design Patterns by Gamma et. al., Addison-Wesley, 1994. A design pattern is a reusable meta-design that can be applied in many different contexts. The timeless adjective can also be applied to this book by Weinberg. Originally written in 1971, the only parts that are dated are the descriptions of the hardware. All points dealing with the human elements of software creation are just as valid today as they were twenty five years ago. Furthermore, as long as the human psyche stays as it is, they will continue to be valid. Despite all of our technical and physical advances, there is no reason to believe that human nature has changed in the last three thousand years. As so many writers point out, the high failure rate of software projects is not due to technical factors but human ones. Weinberg deals with many of these points and offers simple advice on how to solve the psychological problems of software development. In many ways, his solutions can be considered patterns as well. I listed this book as one of the best books of the year in my annual column published in the September, 1999 issue of Journal of Object-Oriented Programming and could probably do so again in an other twenty five years.

Condensed, highly quotable software wisdom. 0% redundancy!

What prompted me to buy and read this book was Steve McConnel's recommendation in Code Complete. After reading Psychology from cover to cover, I have become a Weinberg fan!The book is a true jewel - not deficient, not redundant. Every sentence means a lot, and carries insight and pure wisdom. The book demands your utmost attention. Weinberg speaks with precision, simplicity, grace, and wisdom. I found myself quoting him very often! The anecdotes are memorable and relevant - you'll find yourself narrating them to others!Things I liked most: The entire section on "Egoless Programming". The first three parts of the book are amazingly relevant, although the book has been written over 25 years back (I didn't even exist back then!)Things I liked least: The last part "Programming Tools" seems to be the only part that's dated. It may be more meaningful to someoone who has experienced such tools and languages.Now I look forward to reading Weinberg's other books, including "Becoming a Technical Leader", "The Secrets of Consulting", and the "Quality Software Management" series.

Still great after all these years

If you need to inspire creative, independent people to work together, you'll learn a lot from this book. Smart, sensible, and non-obvious desc riptions of what makes a good team.
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