I’ve read lots of technical books over the years. Often I read them to get the immediate information I need then eventually get rid of them, as many technical books don’t age gracefully.
However, over the decades a few books have earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf. Books like Analysis Patterns by Martin Fowler, Domain Driven Design by Eric Evans and a few dozen others are the kind of books that keep teaching me things every time I re-read them. It’s as if each time I pick them up I’ve learned a little more since last time, and so I’m ready to understand more of the wisdom they contain.
I had a look through my shelf this morning and only two authors appear more than once: the aforementioned Martin Fowler and also Steve McConnell. McConnell’s books Rapid Development, Software Estimation and Code Complete are full of pragmatic, immediately useful information that is as relevant today as much as it was when it was published. His Software Estimation book especially is an absolute cracker, taking an important but potentially mind-bogglingly dull topic and writing a book that I think I’ve read at least 3 or 4 times.
Uncle Bob Martin might only appear on my shelf once, but he makes up for it by the value I’ve taken from that one book. When I first read Clean Code, I thought half of it was good and the other half was completely and utterly wrong. That was fine though, the good half was staggeringly good, so I could forgive him the rest. Interestingly, over the years I find myself gradually coming around to agree with more of the “completely wrong” part, to the point now where it’s probably only 10% that I think is wrong (and I suspect that give me another year or two and that’ll be approaching zero).
What does all this have to do with CodeRage next week? Well, both Steve McConnell and Uncle Bob are presenting. Steve on Managing Technical Debt and Uncle Bob in a session called The Clean Coder. I’ve never seen Steve present, but I was fortunate to see Uncle Bob at the Yow Conference last year and he didn’t disappoint.
Neither of these sessions will be in the CodeRage replays, so you’ll need to watch them live to see them at all. Brew the coffee and/or set your alarm, but don’t miss them.
More details and registration available here.