DEV Community

loading...

Engineering Bookclub – The Pragmatic Programmer

christine
Former Java engineer turned Ruby engineer who is trying to understand Ruby and Rails, MacOS and a lot of other things.
Originally published at christine-seeman.com on ・1 min read

I’m leading a book club at my workplace, Flywheel . We are working through “The Pragmatic Programmer From Journeyman to Master” by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. Published in 1999 this books walks through techniques and tips to level up your development. Even being published more than 20 years ago (😱) there are plenty of parts that are relevant and useful today. Certainly we have also ran into items that aren’t quite as useful now (I’m looking at you suggested Source Control Systems for ClearCase and Visual SourceSafe).


Nobody liked using Visual SourceSafe 👎

This was also a book that Dev Empathy Book Club ran through not too long ago. If you are looking for an online book club specifically for developers, I highly suggest checking it out. Ariel Caplan lead the group, and provided thoughtful discussion questions. With my own book club, I used these questions (with permission from Ariel of course!) as a starting place for our discussions too.

Each week, we meet over lunch and discuss the current chapter. So fare the cadence has been one chapter per week. One thing I have struggled a bit with is keeping the group engaged. Attendance has dropped, and not everyone has read the chapter. Any suggestions for drumming up more excitement? Anyone else have experience with trying to run a technical book club?

Discussion (6)

Collapse
simonhaisz profile image
simonhaisz

Something we've done for our book-clubs is assign chapters to different people. They then present a small report on it so that everyone gets the effective benefit of the knowledge without everyone having to read the full book. If the report shows that chapters to be important/interesting enough to the rest of the group they can then go and read it.

Collapse
cseeman profile image
christine Author

Nice, I do like the idea about everyone actually reading the book but this would help streamline the learning experience, which is really what it is all about. I'll bring this up with the team and see what they think!

Collapse
lightalloy profile image
Anna Buianova

I have also found an Allison McMillan's post which contains plenty of advice:
daydreamsinruby.com/running-a-book...

Collapse
cseeman profile image
christine Author

Awesome, thanks for the article! I'll check it out, I think I might try assigning chapters to different book club members that does seem to give people a bit more responsibility and might allow them to participate more.

Collapse
lightalloy profile image
Anna Buianova

Good luck with your club )

Collapse
lightalloy profile image
Anna Buianova

Thanks for the online book club recommendation, Christine!
I haven't yet organized or participated in a book club myself, but I plan to try starting one, so I'm really interested in the topic.