Code Complete is a pretty big book. At the office we joke that it could stop a bullet. It’s all good stuff. But I’m having a hard time convincing my fellow programmers to read it. I don’t know why. For one thing, I’m not a very good salesman. For another, I have a feeling that the intimidating page count might also be a blocking point. To lower the “barrier of entry”, I recommend to start with these chapters, in this order:

  • Chapter 33: Personal Character
  • Chapter 3: Measure Twice, Cut Once: Upstream Prerequisites
  • Chapter 5: Design in Construction
  • Chapter 6: Working Classes
  • Chapter 7: High-Quality Routines
  • Chapter 20: The Software-Quality Landscape
  • Chapter 23: Debugging

Don’t judge the chapters by their titles. For example, “Debugging” might not sound very exciting at all: sure, we debug every day, right? Rest assured, it’s an awesome chapter. All these chapters are real gems, far more than what they might sound like, and chock full of valuable information.

Once you’re done with these, I hope you’ll be naturally compelled to keep going and just read the entire thing dammit.

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