Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

I've read Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master last week. It was pretty good, although if you have a few years of experience and good practices, you should be familiar with most of what it says, even if you don't follow it in practice :-) .

Some of their bullet points are:
- Don't duplicate
- Write flexible code
- Use Contracts, assertions and exceptions
- Test
- Automate where possible
- Use a version control system.

Obviously, many of these points have a lot to do with refactoring and XP.

They also have another neat book on Automation, Pragmatic Project Automation: How to Build, Deploy, and Monitor Java Apps. Obviously that is much less relevant to a Delphi programmer, but you can still learn quite a bit from it.

After I started reading it, I automated large sections of my build and release process (in PHP - it's easy to use in the command-line, too, and some parts are re-usable on the site). It saves a lot of time and enables you to stop worrying if you missed some small detail before releasing.

Their books are also available on their site as PDFs. I'm not such a big fan of PDF since I started using Plucker, though. Plucker can convert sites and HTML files (with associated graphics) for use on a Palm, and it's much, much better than the PDF reader and converter for Palm.

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