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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Everyone talks about the importance of shared vision in achieving a common goal -- in software development, or elsewhere. Everyone talks about making teams work together better. Jim and Michele McCarthy actually offer a road map for achieving these lofty goals.
Some programmers' first reaction to Software for Your Head will be to recoil. On first hearing, this stuff sounds awfully touchy-feely. Consider: "Your degree of presence correlates with your degree of efficiency." Being present means being entirely present, emotions and all. And "emotional self-repression reduces both team efficiency and product quality." But if you think about it, you can see why it's true -- and the authors' "check in" concept offers a specific way to overcome it.
Software for Your Head addresses virtually every aspect of team success: making shared decisions and acting upon them; helping people become more receptive to each others' ideas; strengthening commitment to a project; overcoming "dysfunctional" and "neurotic" team behavior; and more. Along the way, McCarthys identify "supposed" project solutions that lead straight to perdition ("add more people") -- and then point to "real" solutions that might just work.
The McCarthys didn't just make this stuff up. They have extensive experience running large-scale software development projects; Jim McCarthy once led Microsoft's Visual C++ development team. Since then, they've led hundreds of software "boot camps," weeklong labs where developers team up to build working software. That's where these "patterns and protocols" evolved. Hey, you know there's got to be a better way than what you're doing now. This just might be it. (Bill Camarda)
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. He served for nearly ten years as vice president of a New Jerseybased marketing company, where he supervised a wide range of graphics and web design projects. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.