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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A journey towards software craftsmanship

Programming has been my passion right from the day I have seen computer. After nearly 3.7 years of experience (2 years of freelancing and 1.7 years of Industry), I found that there are lot of areas in programming where I need to improve myself especially in the art of software craftsmanship. Programming is really an art!!
Fine, I have the passion and wish to move to the next level but the key is get started and focussing my efforts on a right path. After some extensive internet searches and fruitful discussions with my colleagues, I have drawn a road map. I feel it is worth sharing through this blog as it might help someone who aspires to reach the next level in programming.
We can’t become Einstein in single night. We can’t become Sachin just by scoring a match winning century in a single match either. Likewise we can’t become a Master in Software Craftsmanship by just creating a single Killer Application. It takes a lot of efforts, passion, endurance persistence, temperament and a well-defined path to reach the top.
             As a programmer/developer we all know very well about the benefits of Code Reuse. Have you ever thought of Experience Reuse!! Just think about it for some minutes. Obviously there is no replacement/substitute for Experience but what’s wrong in learning from others experience. It requires both hard work and smart work to make it to the next level. Here I am mentioning about smart work. Why are we doing the same mistakes which some people did already in their lives?  Why don’t we just learn it from them and get rid of those recurring mistakes. Come on, we are programmers, be smarter. Let’s learn from the some of the masters in the field and do some new mistakesJ.
            Before start mentioning about those masters, I would like to thank my colleague “Jijesh Mohan” who has helped a lot and inspired me to start the journey (Now I hope, you will know what is mean by Experience Reuse). Here is the list of Masters.
One great thing about all these excellent folks is they share their knowledge, either through Books or through their blogs. We are very fortunate. Now it’s our turn to learn from their wisdom and move forward.
“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.  -Mark Twain”
I have found the following magnificent books in the quest
  • Pragmatic Programmer – Andrew Hunt, Dave Thomas
    • Must Read for every programmer. In my perspective it is the Bible of Programming
  • Clean Code – Robert C Martin
  • Refactoring – Martin Fowler
  • Art of Unix Programming – Eric S Raymond
I’ve read the Pragmatic Programmer and all others are in my “To-Read” list. I am really searching for words in dictionary to describe about “Pragmatic Programmer”. It is a “Gem”.
When it comes to blogs, we have “Google Reader”. Just subscribe to the blog posts of these eminent people through Google Reader and learn the art of programming.
The stage has been setup. No one can ride bicycle by reading a book on “How to Ride Bicycle”. What books and blog posts would offer us is knowledge. In addition to knowledge to move further we need another thing called “Practice”. Yes get your hands dirty. Experiment, Research, Critique, Analyse, involve in healthy debates with your colleagues on various aspects of software craftsmanship, work and feel passionate about your work.
I have pledged myself to follow the best practices in all my development works and no compromise on the quality of the code I write. In nutshell, I am going to care about my craft, think about my work and strive for excellence.
I am in the very early stage of becoming a better programmer and looking forward to listen to your suggestions and inputs on this. When we grow older, we will be stronger. With all blessings and hope, the journey begins!    
   

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