Constructing production-quality programs—programs that are used over an extended period of time—is well known to be extremely difficult. The goal of this book is to improve the effectiveness of programmers in carrying out this task. I hope the reader will become a better programmer as a result of reading the book. I believe the book succeeds at improving programming skills because my students tell me that it happens for them.

What makes a good programmer? It is a matter of efficiency over the entire production of a program. The key is to reduce wasted effort at each stage. Things that can help include thinking through your implementation before you start coding, coding in a way that eliminates errors before you test, doing rigorous testing ...

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