Code complete electronic version ?

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at
Thu Sep 4 15:31:10 CEST 2003

On 04 Sep 2003 10:09:21 +0200, Syver Enstad <syver at>

> > Code Complete is essential reading for any prpfessional
> > programmer IMHO, but it may not be essential for non pros...
> I agree that Code Complete is a very good book, but I also think it is
> getting somewhat long in the tooth. For once it doesn't cover
> object-orientation. 

Thats a deliberate choice, OO was well established when McConnell
wrote the book. And apart from trivial details (usually language
specific ones) there is no difference between coding in an OO
language or a procedural one. That is the real issues of naming,
layout, control structures, data structures, testing and
debugging remain constant.

> On the topic of coding I wonder if people are not
> better off buying Refactoring by Martin Fowler and Kent Beck. 

These books are more about design than coding IMHO.

> topic of project managment and development practices I would think
> that the XP white book would be more up to date.

Code Complete doesn't cover these, but Rapid Development covers
the principles behind XP etc quite well given that XP per se
wasn't invented then. (But pair programming and several other
features of XP have been around for 20+ years so McConnell was
well aware of them.) XP is also not universally accepted as being
suitable for all projects, particularly big ones, and McConnell
tries to cover all bases.

The other coding centred books that are worth considering in a
similar vein (IMO!) are

The Practice of Programming by Kernighan & Pike


The Pragmatic Programmer by Hunt & Thomas

And for an overview of all the different development
lifecycle/methodologies I recommend the book:

Wicked Problems, Righteous Solutions by DeGrace & Stahl

Its pre XP but most of XP can be found there in one form or

Alan G.
Author of the Learn to Program website

More information about the Python-list mailing list