Code Complete

Code Complete

Code Complete is a software development book, written by Steve McConnell and published by Microsoft Press, urging developers to get past code and fix programming and the "big design up front" waterfall model. It is also a compendium of software construction techniques, from naming variables to deciding when to write a subroutine. The book won a Jolt award in 1993

McConnell defines the main activities in construction as:

Although he does not dismiss the value of other aspects of software development such as requirements and documentation, McConnell emphasizes the construction of software because:

  • Construction is a large part of software development.
  • Construction is the central activity in software development.
  • With a focus on construction, the individual programmer's productivity can improve enormously.
  • Construction's product, the source code, is often the only accurate description of the software.
  • Construction is the only activity that's guaranteed to be done.


  • ISBN 978-1556154843 First edition (1993)
  • ISBN 978-0735619678 Second edition (June 2004)


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