Please Sign Up to Request This Product

Code Simplicity

The Fundamentals of Software

You need to be an approved reviewer to request a product. Please sign up to request access or login to your account.

If you've already signed up and you haven't heard from us yet please email reviewers\ and we will check on your request.


This concise guide helps you understand the fundamentals of good design through scientific laws—principles you can apply to any programming language or project from here to eternity. Whether you’re a junior programmer, senior software engineer, or non-technical manager, you’ll learn how to create a sound plan for your software project, and make better decisions about the pattern and structure of your system.


On Apr 14 Ivo Flipse wrote: Nice short book to get you started with Tornado
The book features several nice examples, like a shopping cart for a bookstore, asynchronously keeping tabs on how many items are remaining. A simple Twitter client displaying your latest tweets, a Facebook client showing your timeline, both dealing with authentication. Most examples worked pretty well, though I had some issues getting the Twitter client working, because of errors I made in the callback url on localhost. I didn't get the Facebook example working for the same reason, but its not a big issue. Overall, I found it a pretty useful book. While I was already somewhat familiar with Web Apps through Udacity and Coursera courses, it was good to get a bit more formal explanation about topics like routing, handlers and templates. I also liked the way they explained what each part of the code did, instead of assuming you had already figured it out. So while its a short read, I think its a nice introduction to Tornado to get you going. Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar5.0

On Oct 29 Erez Zukerman wrote: Made me want to code.
I've been scripting, hacking, and patching things together for years now. I first started with VBA, then AutoHotkey, then Ruby, with a bit of PHP and JavaScript here and there. But I've never really considered myself a proper coder -- I just hack things together until I get something works. I knew "proper coding" can be beautiful, but I didn't really understand it until I finished reading Code Simplicity. Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar5.0

On Oct 12 Rui Silva wrote: Code Simplicity: Towards a Science of Programming
Max Kanat-Alexander makes no ground breaking revelations on his book that will magically transform you into a code wielding superstar programmer. If yo expect a "zero to hero" kind of experience reading his book then you might as well stay as far away from it as you can. Code simplicity… Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar4.0

On Oct 6 Kenrick Chien wrote: Great for beginners - intermediates
Writing code seems like an easy task, and perhaps it is. However, it can be difficult to write simple, clean code. The book, "Code Simplicity: The Fundamentals of Software", explains: Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar3.0

On Jul 15 Jose San Pedro wrote:
Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar3.0

On Jun 16 M Sheik Uduman Ali wrote:
Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar3.0

On May 12 Sharon Talbot wrote: Read it and Pass it Around
Code Simplicity by Kanat-Alexander from Google really surprised me. This is a short book, even an airplane ride length book, yet it's dense enough and informative enough for me to feel that re-reading it several more times would be awesome. Let me get this out of the way first: this is not a how-to book for making software. There is no code in this book. This is a book on the philosophy of making software. If you are looking for concrete examples of how to re-factor your code, you will not find it here, but don't let that discourage you. Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar5.0

On Apr 26 Rob Friesel wrote: a decent weekend read for the journeyman programmer
"Code Simplicity" by Max Kanat-Alexander (published by O'Reilly, 2012) is the kind of book you might give to a junior or journeyman programmer and say: "Read this over the weekend, and then on Monday we'll talk about your design." There are many quotable passages, pithy aphorisms, and axioms that take the form of definitions, facts, rules, and laws. Kanat-Alexander uses a conversational tone that takes this already common-sense study on the subject and makes it even more approachable and straightforward. Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar3.0

On Apr 24 Fabio Alessandro Locati wrote: Code Simplicity by Max Kanat-Alexander (O’Reilly)
This is not the typical O’Reilly programming book and you can find it out very easily when you have the book in your hands, since it does not have any code inside. Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar3.0

On Apr 15 Marcin Swierczynski wrote:
Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar2.0

On Apr 8 Kiatikun Luangkesorn wrote:
Full Review  >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar3.0

Receive free ebooks and videos in exchange for your reviews.

Join the O'Reilly Reader Review Program

Learn more >


Top Reviewers

Michal Konrad Owsiak, 82 Reviews

Shawn Day, 55 Reviews

Santosh Shanbhag, 52 Reviews

Doron Katz, 50 Reviews

Juan Jose de Leon, 49 Reviews

See More Reviewers >

Featured Review

Learning Java

Doron Katz wrote:
Well-rounded Java knowledge source
Full Review >

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar4.0