Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2016
I have been following Bob Martin's blog for quite a while, so I didn't expect to see a lot of new stuff from either of these two books. In fact, I've been meaning to read them for so long, this review may be obsolete by now. Martin is clearly very passionate about code that is clean and maintainable. Both of the books display that. I tend to agree with him, although - as might be expected as a fellow software engineer - his style sometimes differs from mine.
As an example, Martin believes that code should be clean enough not to require any comments. Personally, I like comments. If I don't have to switch context from English to a coding language, I prefer that. Having said that, Martin's point that comments can get out of date is a good one. The code can't lie, while comments can. My belief, however, is that if the developer is indeed a true "professional," he will care enough to clean up comments. Given, there is no way to mandate that, but if we are supposed to take the time to craft our code thoughtfully, certainly we can consider documentation to be a part of that.
Martin - as noted - is very passionate. I like that, up to the point where his suggestions sound like laws. Yes, we should all be professionals. Calling into question one person's professionalism because of a practice that isn't Martin's first choice doesn't help anybody, however. I felt that the books devolve into name-calling rather than always offering helpful hints. I do agree that being a professional is critical to success. I don't agree that calling people unprofessional in the hopes that they will shape up is the best way to help our profession.
The second book is filled with a bunch of anecdotes. I enjoyed them, but I'm also coming from almost 20 years in the field as well, so some of them really rang true. I'm not sure if brand-new developers will get a lot out of them. Sometimes, people need to fail to see that what they are doing isn't working.
Overall, these books were enjoyable. I'm glad that I finally read them, although I didn't learn much that I haven't already gotten from Martin's blog. It's nice to have all of that info in one place, however.