The Art of Readable Code

Read O'Reilly Book for free: The Art of Readable Code

You can read “The Art of Readable Code” online for free from O’Reilly Labs Open Feedback Publishing System. It’s an O’Reilly book that’s under development.


The Art of Coding focuses on the nuts and bolts of programming, with simple and practical techniques you can use every time you sit down to write code. You’ll find tips throughout the book, with easy-to-digest code examples, helpful illustrations, and cartoons for fun. Learn to pick variable names that are “dense with information”. Organize your loops and conditionals so they’re easy to understand. Make your comments short and sweet. Recognize when your code is doing too many things at once. Write tests that are concise, but thorough. Master the art of breaking hard problems into many smaller ones.


  • What Makes Code “Better”?
  • The Fundamental Theorem of Readability
  • Is Smaller always Better?
  • Does “Time Till Understanding” conflict with other goals?
  • The Hard Part
  • Packing Precision into Names
  • Names That Can’t Be Misconstrued
  • Aesthetics
  • Knowing What to Comment
  • Making Comments Precise and Compact
  • Making Control Flow Easy to Read
  • Breaking Down Giant Expressions
  • Variables and Readability
  • Extracting Unrelated Subproblems
  • One Task at a Time
  • Testing and Readability
  • Designing and Implementing a MinuteHourCounter
  • Writing Less Code

Book Details

Author(s): Dustin Boswell and Trevor Foucher
Format(s): HTML
Number of pages: 204
Link: Read online.

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