As a novel, this book was just ok. The writing was great in some places, a little clunky and slow in others. The character development was so-so accross the board. That said, I couldn't put it down. I was literally five minutes late to pick up my daughter at daycare because I was sitting in the car reading and was physically unable to put down the book and walk inside until I got to the end of the chapter. I loved this book for the subject - there are so few novels set in a in this type of environment, and the plot is fantastic. Just the premise and the brilliant resolution at the end make this book worth reading.
As a professional programmer for the past 27 years, I found the technical content of this book to be very good -- I only spotted on mistake (bug? :-).
However, I'm *really* happy to say that no programmers in my experience (or in the experience of my colleges and friends) are as horrible as most of the people in this book.
Nor, I'm happy to report, is programming (or learning to program) something that makes you an insensitive, unfeeling, uncaring person.
So, yeah, this is an unpleasant people do unpleasant things to each other kind of story. From that starting point, it's pretty well done.
I'm just sorry to see how (undeservedly) bad a portrait of the developer community it portrays.