Book Review: The Productive Programmer - Neal Ford

July 25, 2008
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I’ve been reading Neal’s blog for a while so when this book was launched I wanted to get a copy. I expected a more esoteric book from Neal, but this book was exceptionally applicable. His advice on the nature of being productive including links to specific tools impressed me a lot. I also admired his even handedness in his treatment of operating systems. Its hard to find someone that will talk about Microsoft and Apple technologies without religiosity. When it was good in Windows, he mentioned it. When it was good in OSX, he mentions it.

Maybe its because I am an old guy, but I thought his commentary about how much tools are making us soft (my term, not his) was nice to hear. Having used a simple text editor to do most of my coding the first decade of development, ideas like Intellisense and background complication make me a little crazy.

On the writing side, his prose is well thought out and exceptionally readable. You can get through the book pretty quickly but I found my self post-it noting a bunch of pages to revisit. The book is chocked full of well thought out specific advice for developers to help them be more productive.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to every developer, no matter your technology (Windows, OSX, .NET, Java, RoR, etc.)