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I've been writing code for 20 years.

During that time I've worked on hundreds of projects with dozens of teams. I found the most important quality of lasting code is readability.

When I first started writing code I just wrote code that worked. Who cares as long as it works? Years later, I went to great lengths to ensure my code adhered to all the best practices.

We know our code is too complex. This is easy to realize, but hard to avoid. We're too quick to dismiss qualities like readability and accept complexity as necessary..

We need to get back to the basics of writing code for other humans. This is the goal of BaseCode.

“I'm quite strict about the code I write, but I've never been able to explain why this matters. BaseCode has helped me answer that question and given me even more practices to apply everyday!”

It's a field guide, not a book.

BaseCode distills writing readable code into 10 practices and contains over 40 code samples.

These practices focus on:

  • Writing code that prioritizes readability by humans, not a computer
  • Avoiding code rot with analysis and automation
  • Untangling nested code to improve visual honesty and reduce reader overhead
  • Introducing objects to encapsulate complexity
  • Refactoring long blocks of code by understanding reading levels
  • Making naming things easy with context and time
  • Using code as the primary signal, not comments
  • Avoiding unnecessary code by using reasonable return values
  • Delaying the need to remove duplication with the Rule of Three
  • Improving code flow with symmetry
  • Deferring design decisions to reduce anxiety when writing code

“I loved your Git course, you know how to simplify things and go the minimal way. In the coding world that means clean and lasting code. BaseCode is an absolute buy for me.”

This isn't a book, it's a field guide. BaseCode applies real-world practices to everyday code. There's no fluff. No theory. I tackle common problems and use code to show solutions.

Each topic is neatly organized into a chapter. If you have a bunch of nested code, read Nested Code. If you want to break up long methods, jump to Big Blocks. You can read it cover to cover or jump around to the practices that interest you.

“The practices on nested code alone were a game-changer. Can't wait to read the rest.”

What's available in each kit?

Field Guide

Every kit includes all 129 pages and 12 chapters of BaseCode.

  1. Introduction: Bootstrap
  2. Chapter 1: Formatting
  3. Chapter 2: Dead code
  4. Chapter 3: Nested code
  5. Chapter 4: Using objects
  6. Chapter 5: Big Blocks
  7. Chapter 6: Naming
  8. Chapter 7: Removing Comments
  9. Chapter 8: Reasonable Returns
  10. Chapter 9: Rule of Three
  11. Chapter 10: Symmetry
  12. Epilogue: Exit

Code Samples

With every kit you can download the complete code examples used in BaseCode. The folders are organized by chapter and files are named for each the example with before and after suffixes for comparison.

Audio Version

The Mid Kit and Full Kit will include with an audio version of BaseCode. This may seem strange given the code samples. However, the audio version isn't a one-to-one reading. Instead, it allows me to deliver the practices with more depth and you to listen on the go.

Group Q&A Calls

The Mid Kit and Full Kit provide access to three group calls. These will be live-streams lasting about 20 minutes each where you can ask me any questions so you get the most out of BaseCode.

Videos

The Full Kit includes videos demonstrating the practices applied to even more real-world code samples. They will give you a better sense of how all the practices work together.

Pair Session

The Full Kit comes with one hour of pair-programming to apply the practices from BaseCode to your codebase together. You can do the full hour session, two 30 minute sessions, or three 20 minute sessions. Whatever works.

BaseCode

Choose your kit…

Lite Kit
  • Instant access to BaseCode
  • Download the complete code samples
  • Forever-free updates to all materials
Buy $29 $23
Mid Kit
  • Instant access to BaseCode
  • Download the complete code samples
  • Forever-free updates to all materials
  • Copy of the audio version of BaseCode
  • Access to group Q&A calls
Buy $89 $69
Full Kit
  • Instant access to BaseCode
  • Download the complete code samples
  • Forever-free updates to all materials
  • Copy of the audio version of BaseCode
  • Access to group Q&A calls
  • 1 hour pair session to improve your codebase
  • Bonus videos demoing the practices together
Buy $199 $149

Not ready to buy?

Sign up to get two free chapters from BaseCode as well as videos and reference materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's in the early-edition?

The early-edition contains the Introduction as well as the first 5 chapters.

As additional chapters are released, you will receive an email notification. Oh, and the prices will increase. So take advantage of these discounts.

What if I can't make one of the group Q&A calls?

No worries. You can send me your questions ahead of time to answer during the call and watch the recording at your convenience.

Can I pay with PayPal?

Sure. Just send payment to jmac@basecodefieldguide.com and I'll get your account setup.

Can I get a discount if I purchase multiple kits for my team?

If you are looking to purchase more than 5 kits, email me with your team details and we'll create a custom kit.

What if I have another question?

No problem. Just email me. Unless I'm sleeping, you'll get a pretty snappy reply.

Jason McCreary

Who is JMac?

Hi. I'm Jason McCreary. I go by JMac because I always seem to work with other programmers named Jason.

I love building things and sharing my knowledge. I created Laravel Shift, recorded Getting Git. and speak at conferences.