O'Reilly Book Reviewer

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Review: The Productive Programmer by Neal Ford

Today the pressure is always there to "do more with less". IT departments have shrunk to half their size and those left behind are left to pick up the work left behind as well as manage their own. This book has arrived at the right time. I have personally found this book to lower my stress and also make me appear cool at the office whenever I shared a trick or tip. I give full credit to the author when I am asked how I learned so many tricks.

The book is divided into two parts - Mechanics and Practice. The first part talks about the various productivity tools for different platforms. It is very thoughtful of the author to cover all major Operating Systems. The second part talks largely about high-level approaches to productivity.

Neal's hand-on approach to ditching the mouse and getting the control back to the keyboard emphasizes on being street-smart with your machine. The best thing I liked about this book is the variety of tools explained for various situations, including acceleration, automation of repititive tasks, using virtual desktops, avoiding distractions, writing Ruby scripts to enhance productivity, etc. I would definitely keep a copy of this book close to me and periodically refer to it. I look forward to Neal's suggestion of having an online repository for tools, tips, and mechanics for creating more productive programmers. Some of the tips won't sweep you off your feet but most of the tips were a delight to read and start using right away.