I went to Barnes and Noble today and looked around. I always tend to make my way to the computer books, my favorite section. For some reason, I enjoy browsing through yards of computers books. Computer books tend to be some of the largest volumes in the whole store.
I was vaguely looking for a book that would help me with my MTG Forge project. It’s probably a small project by most estimations, but it does some useful that the common person can and would use. Most computer books cover the foundations or architecture, nothing is really written about implementing a whole program. All the code is short, because it makes it easier to read and understand. Larger programs are talked about in vague terms like, “Make sure you have a standardized error reporting process,” but what does that mean in real life?
It is hard to read source code from a book and to learn from it. Any program listing longer than a few lines I usually gloss over, because reading code takes work. It seems like software engineering is talked about in the classroom but is learned in the real world. Even books that are titled “Software Engineering” don’t talk about the exact steps that are needed for a non-trivial program. But maybe that puts programming back into the realm of art, and who can teach an artist to be great?