How Software Is Built

Overview

This is part 1 of the latest edition of the classic series, Quality Software. It teaches how to understand the dynamics of software development organizations, to plan software projects, and to act effectively to carry out those plans.

Written from a technical and psychological perspective, this comprehesive book describes how to think about what you do. The notation takes almost no effort to learn. The diagrams are simple and easy to understand...

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How Software is Built (Quality Software, #1)

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Overview

This is part 1 of the latest edition of the classic series, Quality Software. It teaches how to understand the dynamics of software development organizations, to plan software projects, and to act effectively to carry out those plans.

Written from a technical and psychological perspective, this comprehesive book describes how to think about what you do. The notation takes almost no effort to learn. The diagrams are simple and easy to understand and used in a consistent manner.

How Software is Built offers ideas for coping with the very difficult problems that face those who work on projects where they don't have enough time, enough information, enough skill, or enough money to do a perfect job of anything. Given these limitations, managers have to make tradeoff decisions in light of the best understanding of cause and effect they can muster.

Reviewers say the book is a treasure, containing within it the best definitions of quality ever published. It's written with a great sense of humor that helps make the lessons and insights you will get from the book easier to take.

For example, why is software development so often plagued by crisis? Weinberg helps the reader step back from developing software and examine the dynamics and patterns of software creation. By discussing patterns of quality, patterns of managing, and patterns of software faults, the author shows that quality software begins with keen observation and clear thinking about software development. The text is extremely thought-provoking and is spiced with anecdotes drawn from decades of software experience.

The book is divided into three sections: "Patterns of Quality", "Patterns of Managing", and "Demands that Stress Patterns." Each section has a number of chapters that examine different systemic aspects of the specific issues.

In the "Patterns of Quality" section, Weinberg challenges our assumptions about what quality is, how to obtain it, and how to recognize how to change it. For those of you who are intimate with the SEI (Software Engineering Institute) CMM (Capability Maturity Model), this section provides compelling reasoning about the model, and about how dangerous level 2 can be to an organization.

One reviewer said of The "Patterns of Managing" section: "It was truly eye opening for me. I had been working on a measurement system at the company, and had been spectacularly unsuccessful obtaining useful metrics. I thought we needed these measurements so that we could understand what worked for us, and what needed to change. This section gave me a new understanding of how other people see the organization and their roles within the organization."

"Demands that Stress Patterns" discusses what happens in real organizations with real customers and real products. How Software is Built develops a number of ideas about how to keep the development organization working productively.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781497453234
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/21/2014
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Earth's Endless Effort, Mistress of Molecules, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, The Death Lottery-all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books may be found linked from my website: geraldmweinberg.com.

I've won many awards for my writing but the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories of our interactions make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.
- Gerald M. (Jerry) Weinberg

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