Sunday, June 13, 2004

Craft Of Programming and Mentors

One thing I learned from my experiences in Software Development is 'Software Development' is not 'Computer Science'. Its not a science and its not fully an art also. Sometime back I read an article where the author called it 'Craft'. I really liked the idea. Indeed, programming is a craft and a Good Software Developer is like a Master Craftsman.

As Craftsman you learn the tricks of the trade by doing it many times, mostly under the watchful eye of Master. There are really few Craftsman so gifted that they can learn it on their own. It means early years of Software Developer are very important. Those early years define if you become a average developer, a good developer or a Great Developer. If you are working with a Master Programming Craftsman, you will learn much just by observing how he works. If the Master Programming Craftsman is also a Good Teacher and Mentor, Then You are Very Very Fortunate.

I am fortunate because my initial years were spent with Master Programmers like T.N. Umamaheshwaran, Abhay Tarnekar, Pravin Waghmare, KK George in MSDCAD, Telco. I learned a lot in 1 year at Telco. Afterwards, I learned from the books of other Masters like Brian W. Kernighan, Rob Pike, GoF, Robert Martin, Martin Fowler, Steve McConnell, Herb Sutter, James O. Coplien, and many others.

Here is a my list of Good Books from some these masters which shaped my ideas of software development.

1. C++ Gems series
2. Code Complete
3. The Practice of Programming
4. GoF Design Patterns Book
5. Advanced C++ Programming Styles and Idioms
6. Robert Martin's articles on Design Principles.

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