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Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think

Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think - Andy Oram, Greg Wilson, Jon Bentley, Brian W. Kernighan, Charles Petzold, Douglas Crockford, Henry S. Warren Jr., Ashish Gulhati, Lincoln Stein, Jim Kent, Jack Dongarra, Poitr Luszczek, Adam Kolawa, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Diomidis Spinellis, Andrew Kuchling, Travis E. Oliph A mixed bag, but overall, worth reading.

Pros: I think programmers do not spend enough time studying the code of others, so books like this are an important step in encouraging the study of this craft. Each chapter of the book is written by a different (often famous) programmer, uses a different language, and discusses a different domain, so you get to see a huge range of different types of code. Multidimensional Iterators in NumPy, Distributed Programming with MapReduce, Beautiful Concurrency, and Writing Programs for the "Book" were my favorite chapters.

Cons: given all the different authors, the quality of the chapters is uneven. A few are boring; a few are interesting, but very tough to follow; a few just discuss high level principles and don't show much code. Also, while I recognize that beauty is subjective, for a prompt of "what's the most beautiful code you've ever seen", a few of the code snippets were questionable.