Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm pretty sure about Who but when ?

The one with proficient knowledge of programming and software development or the one who's just a beginner in cyber ( programming, to be precise ) world ?

I'm persuing bachelors right now, when its preferable for me( and folks like me) to read this Must read for programmers book ?

share|improve this question
I think that's answered here quite nicely:… Spoiler: it's for the intermediate programmer. – LennyProgrammers Oct 22 '10 at 8:11
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Like Robert Harvey said, it's probably best to read it as an intermediate programmer. I read it after having programmed, more or less, for 10 years. After having read it, I wished I had read it at least 5 years sooner.

Code Complete is a bible of best (or at least very good) practices which you only really appreciate after first having tried out a few of your own. It's like doing a math exercise - you won't appreciate the solution unless you've first made your own stab at it. Maybe the book's solution solved the problem differently compared to your solution, and while the final answer may be the same it is the approach which is interesting. Some approaches are better than others, are more intuitive and yield a better understanding of the problem. The same goes for programming.

The following quote of Robert Harvey really says it best:

If you're a beginning programmer you won't understand a lot of the material, and if you are experienced, the book will only confirm what you already know.

share|improve this answer

When one is considering a career in programming.

When one is a programmer.

That means it's OK to read it more than once.

share|improve this answer

I would have probably got the most from it around a year after I graduated. It was useful when I did read it ( about five years later ) but there was some stuff there that I had learned the hard way and I really wished I had known about sooner.

I read The Pragmatic Programmer at the same time and that was spot on- I wouldn't have been ready for that any earlier than when I read it.

share|improve this answer

My case: As soon as possible. And then I open it from time to time when I want to refresh something specific or in a random page.

McConnel changed my life :-)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.