The Clean Coder by Robert C. Martin


Title: The Clean Coder – A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers
Author: Robert C. Martin (“Uncle Bob”)
Published: 2011 by Prentice Hall
Pages: 210
My Rating: 4/5 rating: 4.27 (3798 ratings)
Whom I recommend: All software developers, especially junior developers, but also for experienced developers.

This is one of the many professional development programming books that are on the market. And it isn’t bad at all. I liked it quite much even if it doesn’t have a single line of code. Its good side compared to other same kinds of books is that it is short, only 210 pages, and it is easy to read. Suddenly you just find that you have read tens of pages.

The book is about how to be a professional programmer. Professional here means someone who is taking responsibility for his/her work and improves himself/herself constantly. Someone who cares about his/her career as a programmer. It is opposite of “I am just working” programmer. The book advice how to get the attitude to be a professional. That is something every programmer should have.

There are also lots of practical advice how to be a professional. For example, there was one chapter about testing; that creepy thing programmers try to avoid too often. It was a summary of different testing strategies that programmers also should know. The key message in that chapter was that you must test your code so hard that QA won’t find any bugs. That makes you professional; you test your code a lot.

What Makes You a Professional Programmer?

Some main points that make a programmer professional according to the book:

  • Takes responsibility for what is doing,
  • Tests his/her code so much that QA doesn’t find anything,
  • Cares about his/her career,
  • Cares about employer’s business,
  • Knows design patterns from the “Gang of Four“,
  • Knows what is SOLID principle,
  • Practices continuous integration,
  • Learns continuously,
  • Is a team player,
  • Is able to say no,
  • Practices TDD and
  • Cares about code quality.

I guess most of us agree that these are good things to have as a programmer. Maybe we don’t agree with all or doesn’t fulfill them all, but I think those are things we all should aim. Read the book to get more insight why those things make you professional.

Pros and Cons


  • Relatively short, only 210 pages,
  • Easy to understand,
  • Covers a wide range of things that every programmer should know and
  • Is practical.


  • Doesn’t cover anything deeply.
    • This is also book’s good part that makes it easy to understand.
  • Doesn’t have anything new compared to other same kinds of books.

Other Similar Books I’ve Read

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