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Making Software: What Really Works, and Why We Believe It

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Luvelectronics.com Recommendation:
Many claims are made about how certain tools, technologies, and practices improve software development. But which claims are verifiable, and which are merely wishful thinking? In this book, leading thinkers such as Steve McConnell, Barry Boehm, and Barbara Kitchenham offer essays that uncover the truth and unmask myths commonly held among the software development community. Their insights may surprise you.Are some programmers really ten times more productive than others?Does writing tests first
Luvelectronics.com Offers Thousands of Articles,Information And Reviews To Help Choosing The Best Electronic Product For You

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Making Software: What Really Works, and Why We Believe It

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3 comments on “Making Software: What Really Works, and Why We Believe It

  1. Michael C. Feathers on said:
    32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A very important book, November 22, 2010
    By 
    Michael C. Feathers (Miami FL USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    I’m going to go on record and say that this is one of the most important books about software development that has been published in the last few years. It’s easy for many of us in the industry to complain that software engineering research is years behind practice and that it is hard to construct experiments or perform studies which produce information that is relevant for practitioners, but fact is, there are many things we can learn from published studies.

    The editors of this book do a great job of explaining what we can and can not expect from research. They also adopt a very pragmatic mindset, taking the point of view that appropriate practice is highly contextual. Research can provide us with evidence, but not necessarily conclusions.

    Beyond the philosophical underpinnings, ‘Making Software’ outlines research results in a variety of areas. It gives you plenty to think about when considering various approaches on your team. The chapter ‘How Effective is Modularization?’ is worth the price of the book alone.

    I recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn how to think rigorously about practice.

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  2. John Graham-Cumming on said:
    11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Good, but not fantastic, March 21, 2011
    By 

    This is an important book and it covers a wide range of topics surrounding software engineering (comparing languages, whether TDD works, open source vs. proprietary, pair programming, metrics, learning to program, women in computer science and much, much more). But I can’t give it a 5 star review because I wish it had been distilled down from a large collection of essays to a single book covering the conclusions and the data behind the conclusions.

    It would be a 5 star if someone like Steve McConnell had taken the entire contents of the book and written a single coherent text from it. As it is the quality of writing and explanations varies a lot from article to article. For example, in some of the articles the authors decide to show us the code or the SQL statements used to extract data. I found this distracting (who cares how they pulled data from a database?) because I wanted to get to the meat of each piece. I suspect the book could be 1/2 to 2/3 the size it is today with a rewrite.

    Despite my reservations this is a very worthwhile book. If you sit down to read it you’ll likely find it hard going in places: it’s dense and detailed. But that goes somewhat with the territory. This isn’t a book about evangelizing the latest development fad, it’s about hard data on what does and does not work in software engineering.

    Refreshing, if a bit long.

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  3. David C. Crow on said:
    2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great mix of real-world and academic advice, February 22, 2011
    By 
    David C. Crow (Toronto, ON Canada) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This is a must read book for people making software. It provides empirical evidence, insight and discussion around myths in the software development community. The “10x programmer” chapter by Steve McConnell is one of the most insightful discussions about managing developers and expectations around productivity. It’s a great look at the impact of leveling the playing field and the impact on development teams. It’s a must read for any development manager or executive. That said it is a large, deep tome on software engineering. It’s not a light read, but there are critical tidbits of information for helping to manage development teams. It’s a mix of academic and real-world data and advice.

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