Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Book Review: The Productive Programmer by Neal Ford

I'm going to do something a bit different than my normal posts and review a book I just finished reading.  I read a number of books each month and this will provide me an outlet of to point people to on some of my recommendations.



I don't know how I discovered The Productive Programmer by Neal Ford (O'Reilly Press 2008); however, I know that it was a great purchase.  The book covers various practices on how to become a more productive programmer through tips, tricks, and tools.  The book is split into two parts.  The first part really focuses on mechanics; how things are done and how they can be done better.  This section of the book focuses on a number of great recommendations for tools to use to make yourself faster as well as recommendations on good practices that make you faster or more automated.  The second part of the book is about the practices of programming.  This section focuses on refactoring tips, code analysis, metrics, and general philosophies.


The books is great for anyone who is looking to do their job better or make it easier by finding ways to remove the repetitive ceremony that we all encounter.  While the book is very Java and Ruby focused, he does point out a few examples in C# and tools specific to the .Net community as well.  He also draws on the philosophy that to truly know a subject, one should focus beyond their current problem domain to see how others address it.  I found very few items in this book that I couldn't find a counterpart in the .Net world or be able to translate it very easily.



  • Easy to read
  • Very good tips starting at page 1
  • A large amount of small side notes drive key points home
  • Lots of examples


  • Would like a larger variety of examples in different languages


If you are interested in finding out more about the book, please refer to the following links:


Google Books

Neal Ford's Website

kick it on

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