The Pragmatic Programmer is one of my favorite software engineering books. Though published almost twenty years ago, it has aged quite well. I have recommended it numerous times to colleagues over the years and have bought the occasional copy for others as presents. I have been tempted to recommend it to non-programmers.
Throughout the book, tips are highlighted in boxes within the text. They usually point to a key point from the current chapter. They help with comprehension, learning — and they are simply good reminders, too. The best are at the beginning.
During the preliminaries in the preface, the authors provide tips one and two:
Tip 1: Care About Your Craft
Tip 2: Think! About Your Work
That is truly delightful. Yes, those two are basic, but all else essentially follows. No, please don’t skip the rest of the book, it is a treasure trove of useful knowledge for working software engineers, but it truly starts with those two. I bet they enabled the authors to accumulate the necessary knowledge and experience to eventually publish this book.
These basics will help you pragmatically find your way through your own projects, too.