Parental leave reading

· July 22, 2009

I am slowly but certainly coming to an end of my parental leave. Six months without working! They have disappeared so quickly… It’s a bit sad.

But I also feel “hungry” for work. Especially to put my newly acquired skills and knowledge into use (TDD, ASP.NET MVC, BDD, DDD etc.)

I have done some reading during my leave, (I am actually proud of reaching a lot of the goals I set up for myself on the last day of working) and I thought that I could give a short review of the books here.

Clean Code by Robert “Uncle Bob” Martin was really good in one sense and quite annoying in another. Don’t get me wrong – this is a classic and a very good read. There are loads and loads of good tips and trick on how to find bad code (“Smells” as Uncle Bob calls them) and what to do about it. There are also some really good examples.

But in the end all the tips stack up to an unreachable amount. I don’t know if that says more about my code or the book but I felt that it would be impossible to grasp all those rules at once. Maybe use the book to check back to from time to time.

Especially when you decide in your team what clean code means to that team. That’s what really important, I think, that the team has consensus concerning the style and rules that applies.

Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler. Now this is a great book! I’ve learned a lot from this book and also learned the name and true form of some of the patterns that I have been using without knowing.

Ok – the book is in two parts; the narratives and the patterns. The narratives speaks in more general terms about architecture and when the patterns applies, while the patterns part is a more detailed look on each of the patterns mentioned.

The book is quite old in IT-time (from 2002) and some of the patterns mentioned has now been solved with frameworks and products (System.Transaction, NHibernate etc.)

I like the style of Mr. Fowlers writing and the way you are guided through the text.

I said to someone that this book came along perfect for me. I actually don’t think that I would have understood it just a few years back. You’ll have to reach a certain understanding to be able to understand the next step I think.

I could easily recommend both these books to every IT-professional that want to progress in knowing their business, in the large (Fowler) and in the small (Martin).

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