Pragmatic Programmer

Cover of "The Pragmatic Programmer: From ...

Cover via Amazon

I’m currently reading The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master by Andrew Hunt and Dave Thomas on my Kindle (Bezos, I love you, this thing is pretty awesome). Right, the book — It’s a quality book so far, and I find it hilarious to think that it was written some 12 years ago. 12 years in software development is a significant portion of the field’s entire life!┬áIt’s a testament to how important and unchanging the fundamentals are (when you ge them right). Of course, I’m only a short way through the book at this point, so maybe it ends with a 1999-worthy gem like, “640K ought to be enough for anybody.”

<tangent>Bill Gates is often credited (faulted) with that infamous quote, but he actually never said that, or at least he swears he’d never say that. Mr. Gates is a smart dude, so I’d tend to believe he’d never think anything so short-sighted.</tangent>

Back to the Kindle for a second. As an oft-early adopter of electronics, I remember when the first Kindle came out and I remember being super excited about the possibilities. Had I not been broke, I probably would have convinced myself I needed one and jumped on the bandwagon early. Computer books (which are obscenely large, heavy, and expensive) were starting to gain PDF momentum, which was a major boost for their usefulness (in searching alone). The Kindle was never a great platform for these books however — and it still isn’t — because these books are often in color and need good resolution to capture the details. So, I decided I needed to wait until a contender came along that could do color PDFs well. Enter the iPad. Ah, finally, a device that can display these books in the most ideal way, in color, on a big screen, and still held in your hand. Heavy as the iPad 1 is, it’s still far lighter than your average coding book. I purchased the iPad 1 the day it was released and I have yet to purchase another printed computer book; since these eBooks are about half the print price, it’s paid for itself several times over. I know, you’re thinking “what about the Kindle?” Here’s the funny thing: it took me getting an iPad to realize the glory of the Kindle. I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive as Amazon’s commercials suggest; I find them to be fantastic companions. Bezos, write a thank you letter to Apple, as I’m sure I’m not the only person for whom the iPad was a gateway device to the Kindle ecosystem.

Ramble on…

As I come across great quotes in this book, I’ll put them up here.

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