Code Simplicity

Code Simplicity: The Science of Software Development

What if every software developer could gain the knowledge of long experience without having to go through the pain of repeated failure? What if, instead of being a continuous chaos of complexity and argument, the process of software development could be a sane, orderly progression that was well-understood by every single programmer involved? What if all programmers and their managers shared a common ground for discussing software development decisions–a common ground that was based on facts instead of opinion or authority, and that was actually helpful in deciding what to do on a day-to-day basis with your software project?

What if software development was a science–one with laws, rules, facts, and definitions that told you with certainty which directions to take and which directions to avoid? Not a dogmatic system which restricted you only to some particular methodology, but a series of principles that freed you to think for yourself and make the right decisions for your situation?

What if then, all of this was in a book, that book was only 90 pages long, and it was understandable by every single person working in the software industry, programmer or not? Would it make the world a different place? Find out for yourself:

Code Simplicity: The Science of Software Development.

I’ve spent the last several years developing, testing, and refining a series of scientific laws for software development. Some of what I’ve been doing, you’ve seen in this blog, but the book isn’t just a regurgitation of these articles here. It’s a complete, organized treatise on this new science–a series of principles that I hope will not just change your software, but also bring sanity, order, and happiness to your life as a software developer. Then, once your team reads it, it will bring understanding and insight to your group’s direction and discussions. And finally, when every software developer has read it, it will change the world of software development.

But it all starts here, with you. Help me change the world. All you have to do is read a book, and then if you think you got something out of it, tell other people about it, so maybe they will read it too.


29 Responses to Code Simplicity: The Science of Software Development

  1. Matt Doar says:

    Got my copy ordered!

  2. Alex Vincent says:

    It’s in my Amazon cart.

    • Coralee says:

      Råkade skriva fel mail vid min anmälan :OSkickade en mail till Samuels/Daniels mail, med personnr. och rätt mailrad-ess.Räcker det?

    • Själv sÃ¥ sitter jag och väntar tills säsong tvÃ¥ kommer ut pÃ¥ DVD (har säkert redan gjort det i USA, mÃ¥ste kolla up det nu…), men det känns skönt att veta att jag har nÃ¥got att se fram emot :)Saknar ocksÃ¥ Bubba… Fast det är ju klart, svÃ¥rt att hitta den perfekta skÃ¥despelaren.

    • What a great way to say what many of us feel about New Orleans! I lived there for a few years, and it is, in fact, like no other city in America. But…umm…Owen, crawfish are fairly mild, and ALWAYS not very meaty and a lot of work. I remember my first crawfish boil at a customer’s warehouse. I could hardly have gotten enough to stave off hunger (well, there were, of course, the potatoes and corn) if it hadn’t been for my native born salesman peeling ‘em fast enough for both of us!

  3. I bought the book this past weekend and am almost through it. Already it has saved probably 50 hours of future maintenance headache due to one simple software design decision. Time spent planning and designing software is time well spent. Time spent * learning * about software design is exponentially time well spent. Great job, Max – and thank you!

    • Max Kanat-Alexander says:

      Wow, that’s awesome. Hahaha, that’s a great point about time spent learning about software design! 🙂


  4. Ash says:

    Ordering my copy. Thanks!

  5. Ahmed says:

    Congratulations Max.

    Good job, I will order my e-copy right now inshalla.



  6. Arun Saha says:

    Got the ebook from O’reilly, started reading, enjoying it!

  7. Alex Vincent says:

    If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, can I arrange for an autograph? 🙂 It’s a pretty good book, but: “not long enough; read in one day” :p (I’m kidding, it’s a good length. Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror would probably like this book, too.)

    • Max Kanat-Alexander says:

      Hey Alex! I am in the Bay Area. 🙂

      I’d love it if Jeff read it, I’d be interested to know his thoughts on it. However, I’d want him to read the revised version that’s coming out in a few days, not the current version.


      • Albert says:


        If I buy the kindle version, will I automatically get the revised version?

        • Max Kanat-Alexander says:

          Hey Albert! Actually, I’m not sure; this will be my first revision, so I don’t know how it works. At the very least, when you buy the Kindle version there’s the opportunity to “upgrade” it to the DRM-free version from O’Reilly for $5, using a link that appears at the end of the book. The O’Reilly versions definitely get the free updates.

  8. Ken Penn says:

    Bought my copy after listening to the webcast. I was writing code immediately after, and just listening helped me make the function a little simpler.

  9. Ken Penn says:

    Max – Please post when you will be having the meetups, I’m in the Bay Area.

  10. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I thinks you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  11. Value Convenience by Max Kanat-Alexander (published by O’Reilly, 2012) is the type of guide you might share with a younger or journeyman designer and say: “Read this over the few days, and then on Thursday we’ll discuss your style.” There are many quotable paragraphs, pithy aphorisms, and axioms that take the way of explanations, information, guidelines, and regulations.

    • My Great Grandma Gave me her descoware casserole dish today, I remember it always being on her stove with something yummy in it. I did some research today and could not find anything like it on ebay, Thanks to this site i found it. It is from the Markley set. It is absolutly beautiful. Thanks for your site, it was very helpful in my research.

    • Ahah des fois j’écris des phrases, et je me dis « Ã§a va faire marrer Mojito » :))(Même constatation pour la Konjak, j’ai eu envie de la bouffer.)

      • Patience says:

        Har brukt noe tapen her hjemme, men jeg har ikke fotografert det for Ã¥ bruke pÃ¥ bloggen.SÃ¥ vakkert hjemmet deres har blitt pÃ¥ kort tid, Heidi. 🙂 Hi, hi, mÃ¥ jo ogsÃ¥ smile litt nÃ¥r jeg ser de hvite gulvene du &qltu;endetig&quoo; har fÃ¥tt deg. ;)HÃ¥per du har fine høstdager med din lille Fly x 4-familieVarm klem,Anette Willemine

    • oh thats so weird! the blonde one of the is in my year and we used to go to the same school together! small world hey! i suppose ill have to get used to seeing her modelling things arent i! :Pyour goodie bag is so good!hope you had a fab time xx

    • I’m not sure how quirky and unusual it is, but i enjoy walking around Trastevere a lot. Very beautiful area. And Villa Bogrhese and its park are my favorite. You can also see early christian catacombs – very impressive!

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