Computers in Context: The Philosophy and Practice of System Design

Overview

When software systems are delivered too late, when they fail to meet the needs of their users, when only a fraction of their capacity is used, when their maintenance costs more than their development, when changes are impossible – then there is a frantic search for new and better engineering techniques and tools.

Dahlbom ande Mathiassen advocate a different approach to these problems: pausing and reflection. Surprisingly little time in the education of systems developers is ...

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Overview

When software systems are delivered too late, when they fail to meet the needs of their users, when only a fraction of their capacity is used, when their maintenance costs more than their development, when changes are impossible – then there is a frantic search for new and better engineering techniques and tools.

Dahlbom ande Mathiassen advocate a different approach to these problems: pausing and reflection. Surprisingly little time in the education of systems developers is devoted to a consideration of the methods, goals and politics of computerization. The core of the book is an examination of the notion of quality itself. The effective computer professional must arrive at his or her sense of what quality can and should mean in a particular situation in order to resolve the inevitable creative tensions between the nature of people and that of computers, between structured systems and the process of change.

The authors draw on a rich range of literature from philosophy, organizational theory, and technology and social change to support their points. But, adducing many real-life examples they avoid jargon and presuppose no formal background. Computer in Context will help students, computer professionals, and managers alike understand better what it is they are trying to do with computer systems, how and why.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Surprisingly little time in the education of systems developers is devoted to a consideration of the methods, goals, and politics of computerization. The core of this book is an examination of the notion of quality itself. The effective computer professional must arrive at her or his own sense of what quality can and should mean in a particular situation. The authors draw on a rich range of literature from philosophy, organizational theory, and technology and social change to support their points. Many real-life examples are used, and jargon is avoided. Exercises are included. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557864055
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/18/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Originally trained in philosophy, Bo Dahlbom currently holds the chair in Information Systems in Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Goteborg in Sweden. Lars Mathiassen is professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the School of Engineering at Aalborg University Centre, Denmark.
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Table of Contents

Preface.

Part I. Systems.

Computers.

Information.

Thinking.

Part II. Development.

Construction.

Evolution.

Intervention.

Part III. Quality.

Artifacts.

Culture.

Power.

Part IV. Practice.

Computers and People.

Systems and Change.

From Philosophy to Practice.

Notes for Instructors.

Exercises.

Further Reading.

References.

Index.

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