Understanding Software

Hey everybody. I’ve published a new book! It’s called Understanding Software.

The book contains all of the content that I’ve written on software development and working in teams since the publication of Code Simplicity, plus some entirely new content that’s never been published anywhere. In fact, it contains one of my favorite essays that I ever wrote from back in 2008 but never published before. So there’s that for you. All the content has been put into a beautiful layout, then curated and organized for maximum readability.

It’s something I’m actually really happy with, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say about it, too.

From the Publisher

Understanding Software covers many areas of programming, from how to write simple code to profound insights into programming, and then how to suck less at what you do! You’ll discover the problems with software complexity, the root of its causes, and how to use simplicity to create great software. You’ll examine debugging like you’ve never done before, and how to get a handle on being happy while working in teams.

Max brings a selection of carefully crafted essays, thoughts, and advice about working and succeeding in the software industry, from his legendary blog Code Simplicity. Max has crafted forty-three essays which have the power to help you avoid complexity and embrace simplicity, so you can be a happier and more successful developer.

Max’s technical knowledge, insight, and kindness, has earned him a status as a code guru, and his ideas will inspire you and help refresh your approach to the challenges of being a developer.

What you will learn

  • See how to bring simplicity and success to your programming world
  • Clues to complexity – and how to build excellent software
  • Simplicity and software design
  • Principles for programmers
  • The secrets of rockstar programmers
  • Max’s views and interpretation of the Software industry
  • Why Programmers suck and how to suck less as a programmer
  • Software design in two sentences
  • What is a bug? Go deep into debugging

You can get it on Amazon, direct from the publisher, or in any other place where programming books are sold.



  1. […] “Understanding Software” by Max Kanat Alexandar is a super fast read, and should be required reading for any new developer (engineer). It gives you simple guidelines and ways to solve problems. One part of the book kept ringing in my ears a year or so ago, “Good developers read every line of code”. I never considered this before. Like for the application/company you are supporting, you should understand every line of code that’s running in production. This includes 3rd party libraries you’re using. So back in 2021, my team was writing a new application that could ingest all sorts of XML files full of jobs. (I worked for Getwork/LinkUp) […]

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