10

According to the most developers these two books are essential for any programmer; is there any recommendation in which one should I read first?

32 accepted

Pragmatic Programmer. It's shorter, therefore you'll be halfway through your reading list earlier.

6

I'd say Pragmatic Programmer. After reading Code Complete, you might think you already know everything and skip PP, while it still has added value (IMHO).

2

As long as you read both of them, it doesn't matter which one you read first. But I'd also say start with Pragmatic Programmer, as it's the smaller of the two.

2

I haven't read Pragmatic Programmer, so I can't comment on that.

But let me suggest that you buy two copies of Code Complete: one for for your cubicle and the other for home (I usually keep mine in the bathroom).

I do not actually write code in the bathroom, however.

2

I'd lean towards the Pragmatic Programmer first, though if you do it the other way around, I'd suggest taking a few months between the two. I read Code Complete first and picked up PP immediately afterwards. I found that in general, PP was a subset of the topics covered in Code Complete and found it pretty hard to get through. This was mainly due to the fact that in all cases, when there was overlap between the two books, CC had a more in depth look at the topic while PP took a more casual view.

I guess my feeling would be that if you've read Code Complete and really grokked it, the Pragmatic Programmer is some nice light reading for a rehash of the same stuff. Going the other way around is a more natural build into the real craft of software development.

2

If these two are your only choices, I would suggest Pragmatic. Because after finishing with Code Complete first, Pragmatic Programmer wont help you much.

1

After I read Code Complete I didn't feel the Pragmatic Programmer had much more to offer, so I say Code Complete.

1

Go with Pragmatic Programmer first. It is shorter and comes with a tip sheet to help reference the material it provides. Also it is written so you can read it in any order. Code Complete is rather huge and is a good reference to have.

1

Pragmatic Programmer first. Code Complete is too heavy for a fresher to read.

0

I read Pragmatic Programmer first and am currently reading Code Complete. So I feel Pragmatic first.

0

I would read Code Complete first. It really helps you understand how technology has evolved and how your computer in a sense works. Coders should not know just how software works but to an extent how hardware works as well.

0

Code Complete

0

I would suggest you read them both. Code Complete is large and like any large text is hard to absorb all of the good ideas/items in the book in one sitting. I have read it twice and still find things that I missed or glossed over on hte previous read. Pragmatic progrmmer is shorter and more concises.

The thing I liked about Pragmatic Programmer is that the ideas and themes are something you could just go into work and just adopt - even if you were the only one on the team to do so. Broken windows, DRY, Automate everything are just good suggestions and can be absorbed in about 10 minutes each.

0

I've read PP first and them CC, but I think the opposite is best. Code Complete is a much more low-level, code-oriented book, which is a good starting point and you can see it helping you right from the first moment.

OTOH, Pragmatic Programmer is more helpful after you've had some experience with a few projects IMHO.

So PP->CC!

0

Neither. Go for Clean Code - its a newer book and very very good.

I have both the other books but Clean Code is my preferred read.