97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

I am honoured to have been able to contribute two chapters (entries) for the book “97 Things Every Programmer Should Know” that’s scheduled to be released this month.
There is nothing really ground breaking here, but rather short useful tips that could help in your goal in becoming a better programmer. Some of the advice given is obvious (or even trivial), but they are also what we normally take for granted. While some of those nuggets could potentially save you some trouble, others merely point out a different perspective about an aspect of programming that we may have failed to see. All in all I think it’s well worth a read. It’s also available on the wiki here.

This book is part of a new series started by O`reilly where the chapters (or entries) are chosen from a series of contributions (short essays) made by many individuals. The contributions are collected via a wiki and goes through an editing process via a designated editor. Once submissions are edited and agreed upon by the editor and the contributor they get added to a separate section from where the final contributions are chosen. This type of book offers the reader an opportunity to see multiple and varied perspectives of many individuals about the subject as opposed to a single authors perspective. The format of the book also allows for easy reading and the short concise entries are easy to digest. AFAIK there are two other books in the series, 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know and 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know.

My contributions were motivated by the daily challenges I faced as a programmer. Refactoring and testing are topics that are relevant to any programmer.
Before You Refactor and Test While You Sleep (and over Weekends) are based on my humble experience working in the industry for over 10 years. I hope it helps another programmer to avoid the pain I had to go through by learning things the hard way. Kevlin Henny was the editor for this book and it was a pleasure to have had the opportunity to work with him. Sometimes it’s amazing to note how a little bit of editing could make a world of difference. During the process I learnt a few things about writing from Kevlin for which I am very grateful for.

And here is the cover page with my mug shot :)


  1. Jason Dobies wrote:

    Very cool! I hadn’t heard of this series, but I want to take a look at the project manager one as well. Seems like it’ll be good both for new programmers and as a list of good things that often get forgotten/overlooked after years of development experience.

  2. rajith wrote:


    I got to know about it just around the time they were wrapping up the
    97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know project. I found it interesting and followed up on it a bit and found that a similar project was ongoing for “97 Things Every Programmer Should Know” and another one about data (all though I couldn’t find any reference to it).

    I think the authors for the above series were planning a follow up. Not sure exactly when though.

  3. Senthil Kumar wrote:

    Good . i knew about the book . Looking to get a copy for myself too