Back in October, personal finance blogger Trent at The Simple Dollar started an online book club for one of his favourite finance books. Good idea, I thought, so I'm nicking it. Starting in January, I'm running a technical book club at work with a few .Net devs, and I'll write everything up and post it here, so if you're so inclined you can follow along at home.
To start with, we'll be reading language-agnostic books covering the fundamentals of software development in the real world, since it's always valuable to refresh knowledge on the cornerstones of modern professional coding; later on this can diversify into specific technologies and subjects with more arcane, academic, or abstract overtones. Another benefit of starting with the basics is that we can concentrate on getting the format right without feeling overwhelmed by unfamiliar material.
So, the initial batch of texts will cover object-oriented design, design patterns, refactoring, code quality, and so on. Later, the idea is to study less immediate (but still vital) subjects like functional programming, compiler design, operating systems, etc.; and also to gain deeper knowledge of common specific technologies, e.g. the inner workings of the CLR or a JVM. I suspect people like stevey will argue that these latter subjects are more important than the others and should be done first, and they might even be right, but I've picked my approach and I'm sticking with it, so nuts to you stevey.
So, here's the early schedule and probable books. The order we do these books might change - in fact the books themselves might change if, for example, we decide that Fowler's Enterprise Patterns is more appropriate than the GoF's Design Patterns. Each book will be agreed for certain in good time for it to be ordered and delivered before the scheduled start date, obviously.
|OO Design||Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications||14/01/2008|
|Design Patterns||Design Patterns||03/03/2008|
|Code Quality||Pragmatic Programmer||07/07/2008|
|Legacy Code||Working Effectively With Legacy Code||01/09/2008|
In addition to these, we'll also cover one chapter of Code Complete per week. So, there it is. If you want to tag along, get yourself a copy of Booch's Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications and McConnell's seminal Code Complete, and tune in next month.