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

Overview

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.

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

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Overview

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 help you develop better code faster?
  • Can code metrics predict the number of bugs in a piece of software?
  • Do design patterns actually make better software?
  • What effect does personality have on pair programming?
  • What matters more: how far apart people are geographically, or how far apart they are in the org chart?

Contributors include:

Jorge Aranda

Tom Ball

Victor R. Basili

Andrew Begel

Christian Bird

Barry Boehm

Marcelo Cataldo

Steven Clarke

Jason Cohen

Robert DeLine

Madeline Diep

Hakan Erdogmus

Michael Godfrey

Mark Guzdial

Jo E. Hannay

Ahmed E. Hassan

Israel Herraiz

Kim Sebastian Herzig

Cory Kapser

Barbara Kitchenham

Andrew Ko

Lucas Layman

Steve McConnell

Tim Menzies

Gail Murphy

Nachi Nagappan

Thomas J. Ostrand

Dewayne Perry

Marian Petre

Lutz Prechelt

Rahul Premraj

Forrest Shull

Beth Simon

Diomidis Spinellis

Neil Thomas

Walter Tichy

Burak Turhan

Elaine J. Weyuker

Michele A. Whitecraft

Laurie Williams

Wendy M. Williams

Andreas Zeller

Thomas Zimmermann

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596808327
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/27/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 602
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly Media, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. An employee of the company since 1992, Andy currently specializes in free software and open source technologies. His work for O'Reilly includes the first books ever published commercially in the United States on Linux, and the 2001 title Peer-to-Peer. His modest programming and system administration skills are mostly self-taught.

Greg Wilson has worked on high-performance scientific computing, data visualization, and computer security, and is currently project lead at Software Carpentry (http://software-carpentry.org). Greg has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, and has written and edited several technical and children's books, including "Beautiful Code" (O'Reilly, 2007).

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Table of Contents

Preface

General Principles of Searching For and Using Evidence

Chapter 1: The Quest for Convincing Evidence

Chapter 2: Credibility, or Why Should I Insist on Being Convinced?

Chapter 3: What We Can Learn from Systematic Reviews

Chapter 4: Understanding Software Engineering Through Qualitative Methods

Chapter 5: Learning Through Application: The Maturing of the QIP in the SEL

Chapter 6: Personality, Intelligence, and Expertise: Impacts on Software Development

Chapter 7: Why Is It So Hard to Learn to Program?

Chapter 8: Beyond Lines of Code: Do We Need More Complexity Metrics?

Specific Topics in Software Engineering

Chapter 9: An Automated Fault Prediction System

Chapter 10: Architecting: How Much and When?

Chapter 11: Conway’s Corollary

Chapter 12: How Effective Is Test-Driven Development?

Chapter 13: Why Aren’t More Women in Computer Science?

Chapter 14: Two Comparisons of Programming Languages

Chapter 15: Quality Wars: Open Source Versus Proprietary Software

Chapter 16: Code Talkers

Chapter 17: Pair Programming

Chapter 18: Modern Code Review

Chapter 19: A Communal Workshop or Doors That Close?

Chapter 20: Identifying and Managing Dependencies in Global Software Development

Chapter 21: How Effective Is Modularization?

Chapter 22: The Evidence for Design Patterns

Chapter 23: Evidence-Based Failure Prediction

Chapter 24: The Art of Collecting Bug Reports

Chapter 25: Where Do Most Software Flaws Come From?

Chapter 26: Novice Professionals: Recent Graduates in a First Software Engineering Job

Chapter 27: Mining Your Own Evidence

Chapter 28: Copy-Paste as a Principled Engineering Tool

Chapter 29: How Usable Are Your APIs?

Chapter 30: What Does 10x Mean? Measuring Variations in Programmer Productivity

Contributors

Colophon

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  • Posted December 31, 2011

    Very Good

    This book is a compilation of chapters written by a number of authors. It is a large book so a bad chapter, very low information content, here or there doesn't subtract too much. They information that is in the book can be very good and can really open your eyes. A large part of the book contains knowledge that has been actually scientifically tested with well structured studies. This is as apposed to the beliefs that many of us software developers/engineers/... believe in because we have been told some 'truths' over and over again. When some of these 'truths' are put to the test in scientifically done studies we actually come up with some very surprising results. Some examples in the area of: software estimation, code reviews, software productivity, and software bugs.

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