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Re: Which non-Perl books made you a better (?:Perl )?Programmer?

by bilfurd (Hermit)
on Nov 16, 2005 at 02:51 UTC ( #508875=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Which non-Perl books made you a better (?:Perl )?Programmer?

One for me was Herrington's Code Generation in Action. Thinking about generating code algorithmically and efficiently changed my perspective a bit.

Past that, I found OS-specific books to be a big help -- Windows XP Under the Hood for example. Little tips and tricks that you can leverage in your code can make a difference.

Once a programmer reaches the stage where they question the code in a book and look for more efficient and/or secure ways to perform the same task, they are usually well on the path.

There is no substitute for experience, of course, but getting people beyond the stage of "do it like this, for this is the way I was taught" is usally a big step. TIMTOWTDI is just an acronymn until you practice it.

If you want to break away from tech books in general, there is always Musashi's Book of Five Rings, the "Earth Scroll" in particular, to get people to recognize their tools. Perl, C++, C#, JavaScript, SQL, etc., are just tools; if you don't take care of your tools and stay in practice, you have to spend time sharpening them again.

Just my dos centavos.

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[choroba]: iirc
[perldigious]: karlgoethebier: Well it is a pretty old and complicated (for me) bit of code I wrote (poorly by my current standards), so I'm expecting everything to break when I add the scoping and find out what else is undesireably scope changed. :-)
[perldigious]: Ah, thanks choroba, that sort of thing was precisely what I was wondering when I asked.
[perldigious]: I didn't want to tie up memory unecessarily basically, I wanted to "delete" it specifically to free it up, and wasn't sure I was even accomplishing that.
[stevieb]: perldigious You should start by writing some unit tests. That'll ensure current functionality doesn't break with changes.
[choroba]: unit tests++
[choroba]: The only problem you can't solve by adding more tests is the problem of having too many tests.

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