The Pragmatic Programmer

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The Pragmatic Programmer
The pragmatic programmer.jpg
  • Andrew Hunt
  • David Thomas
Country US
Subjects Education, Teaching
Published 1999 by The Pragmatic Bookshelf
Pages 320
ISBN 978-0-2016-1622-4
Website The Pragmatic Bookshelf: The Pragmatic Programmer

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master is a book about software engineering by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas, published in October, 1999, first in a series of books under The Pragmatic Bookshelf label. It is an influential book in software engineering,[1] and it is used as textbook in related university courses.[2]

The book does not present a systematic theory, but rather a collection of tips to improve the development process in a pragmatic way. The main qualities of what the authors refer as a pragmatic programmer are being an early adopter, to have fast adaption, inquisitiveness and critical thinking, realism, and being a jack-of-all-trades.[3]

The book uses analogies and short stories to present development methodologies and caveats, for example the broken windows theory, the story of the stone soup, or the boiling frog.[4] Some concepts were named or popularised in the book, like code katas, small exercises to practice programming skills,[5] and rubber duck debugging, a method of debugging whose name is a reference to a story in the book.[6]


  • Andrew Hunt and David Thomas, The Pragmatic Programmer, Addison-Wesley, 2000.
  1. ^
  2. ^ "CSE 331 17sp Software Design & Implementation: Information and Syllabus". 
  3. ^ Hunt and Thomas, pp. xviii–xix.
  4. ^ Hunt and Thomas, pp. 7-9.
  5. ^ Steve Fenton (2014). Pro TypeScript: Application-Scale JavaScript Development. Apress. p. 209. ISBN 1430267909. 
  6. ^ Pete Goodliffe (2014). Becoming a Better Programmer: A Handbook for People Who Care About Code. O'Reilly Media. p. 82. ISBN 1491905581. 

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