Steve Maguire

Writing Solid Code

Development Philosophies for Writing Bug-Free Programs

Writing Solid Code tackles the serious problem of how to write bug-free code by sharing proven development strategies that help you catch bugs automatically, with little or no effort, and help you eliminate entire classes of bugs altogether.

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About the Author

Steve Maguire has been programming professionally since 1978 and has worked in the United States as well as Japan.

In the late 1970s Steve was active in the budding microcomputer arena and was a regular contributor to the Processor Technology and NorthStar users’ groups, contributing programmer tools, applications utilities, and the occasional video game.

In 1982 Steve—along with co-programmers Evan Rosen and Paul Davis—developed numerous projects together including valFORTH, an award-winning development system that allowed Atari programmers to write high-quality graphics applications and video games in the FORTH programming language.

In 1984, Steve was amazed by Apple’s first Macintosh computer and its ImageWriter printer. He immediately fell in love with this new computer with its graphical user interface, windows-metaphor, and mouse input device. Today, this model is as common as bread and butter, but in 1984 this model was revolutionary. Upon using that first Macintosh, Steve knew instantly that the Macintosh was the machine he wanted to write code for.

Steve heard that Microsoft—a relatively unknown company at that time—was looking for programmers to write code for the Macintosh. Microsoft wanted to create three Applications for the Macintosh: a word processor, a spreadsheet program, and a database manager. Steve contacted Microsoft and they hired him to work on their new spreadsheet program for the Macintosh, project Odyssey. At the last minute, the Marketing Department renamed Microsoft Odyssey to be Microsoft Excel and the rest is history.

In addition to working on version 1.x of Microsoft Excel, Steve led the development of Microsoft’s Macintosh cross-development system. He was the driving force behind Microsoft’s switch to a cross-platform, shared code strategy in its applications development and while working for Microsoft he was perhaps best known in the company for his efforts to increase the utility and quality of shared code libraries.

When people hear that Steve spent years working for Microsoft, they naturally assume that he worked on Windows and Windows applications. In fact, Windows didn’t yet exist when he started working for Microsoft developing Macintosh applications. As Steve likes to say, “I’m all in with Apple. I just love their stuff!” He still uses Microsoft Office for the Macintosh and not Apple’s own office suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) so he may not be as all in as he thinks he is…

For the past decade, Steve’s primary focus has been on developing world-class websites and marketing tools for the Direct Sales industry.

His first book, the critically acclaimed Writing Solid Code (Microsoft Press, 1993), focuses on strategies that programmers can use to write rock-solid bug-free programs. Writing Solid Code earned a prestigious Software Development Jolt Productivity award and awards from the Society for Technical Communication in 1994. This 20th Anniversary Edition (Braughler Books, 2013) builds on that earlier success.

Steve’s second book, Debugging the Development Process, was written to give programmers and project leads practical guidelines for developing professional, high-quality software. It also won the prestigious Software Development Jolt Productivity award.

You can reach Steve using the Contact menu item above.