Me thinks i'm probably 180 on this one, but i don't really think that just reading books is the solution. Dominus
spoke well when he said that you should sit down and read a book, then make notes, and think about it. It's that last part that usually seperates programmers between good and bad, in my opinion.
It would also seem though, that just books about being a programmer aren't necessarily what you're looking for, although like i said, i could be backwards. i would suggest books like Mastering Algorithms with Perl, or maybe an AI book, or maybe a C++ data structures and algorithms book. Something that goes into the theory and thought behind the programming that will allow you to see with more insight how you want to lay out a program because you have more knowledge of ways to lay out a program well, in any language. Most data structures are possible to create in any language, and sometimes it's far better to borrow from another language than stay true to the language.
Not a particularly good example, but for an AI class i had to make a square tile floor that related position, whether it was dirty or clean, and other such features, in Java. What i did was create a perl-esque hash, so that with 4 methods and two arrays i could keep track of all of the properties of any one tile easily. Everyone else had about a dozen or two methods and had to do interesting things to keep everything happy. It wasn't necessarily the best solution, but i think it was the most maintainable and flexible, because if i changed two lines the tile had more properties, everyone else had to write two (or more) functions as well...
It was because i've studies Perl and knew hashes that i thought of that. It's because of my (little) knowledge of C++ sorting and searching that i can write many of the programs i do. If you learn new techniques they'll stay with you no matter what language you use, if you jsut learn the language or how to be a political programmer, you'll be stuck in one type of job or just be some suit behind a desk...
Hope That Helps,
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