Why Does Software Cost So Much? And Other Puzzles of the Information Age

Why Does Software Cost So Much? And Other Puzzles of the Information Age

by Tom DeMarco
     
 

Twenty-Four Provocative Essays from Legendary Author and Consultant Tom DeMarco!

Known for his ability to find provocative answers to the most puzzling questions, Tom DeMarco explores a wide range of issues in twenty-four masterful essays.

The offerings range from the wise to the kooky — in fact, many of them defy categorization. But all are marked by

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Overview

Twenty-Four Provocative Essays from Legendary Author and Consultant Tom DeMarco!

Known for his ability to find provocative answers to the most puzzling questions, Tom DeMarco explores a wide range of issues in twenty-four masterful essays.

The offerings range from the wise to the kooky — in fact, many of them defy categorization. But all are marked by the author's eye-opening perspectives on topics that demand your professional attention.

Drawing together several essays published in such journals as IEEE Software and American Programmer, plus ten all-new papers never seen beyond his circle of colleagues, Tom DeMarco tackles a multitude of tough subjects and wrestles fresh insight out of them. Here's a compact, compelling edition of this acclaimed consultant's views on software engineering.

Subjects include management-aided engineering, documentation, desktop video, productivity, software factories, teams, measurement, icons, and more!

Essays Include

  • Why Does Software Cost So Much?
  • Mad About Measurement
  • Software Productivity: The Covert Agenda
  • The Choir and the Team
  • Management-Aided Software Engineering (with Sheila Brady of Apple Computer)
  • Lean and Mean
  • Software Development: State of the Art vs. State of the Practice (with Tim Lister)
  • Twenty Years of Software Engineering: Looking Forward, Looking Back
  • "If We Did Only One Thing to Improve . . ."

— plus fifteen more!

TOM DeMARCO is a principal of the Atlantic Systems Guild, a computer systems think tank with offices in the U.S. and Great Britain. He was the winner of the 1986 Warnier Prize for "lifetime contribution to the field of computing."

His most recent work is an expanded, second edition of the classic Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams. In the summer of 1997, Dorset House published his award-winning The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management. It is the story of a veteran software manager who bets his life on a delivery date.

Mr. DeMarco's book of essays, published in 1995, is entitled Why Does Software Cost So Much? (And Other Puzzles of the Information Age), also from Dorset House. His prior works include more than one hundred articles and papers about management and the system development process. In 1990, he served with Tim Lister as co-editors of Software State-of-the-Art: Selected Papers (with Timothy Lister)

Mr. DeMarco's career began at Bell Telephone Laboratories where he served as part of the now-legendary ESS-1 project. In later years, he managed real-time projects for La CEGOS Informatique in France, and was responsible for distributed on-line banking systems installed in Sweden, Holland, France and Finland. He has lectured and consulted throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Australia and the Far East.

Mr. DeMarco has a BSEE degree from Cornell University, an M.S. from Columbia University and a diplome from the University of Paris at the Sorbonne. In his spare time, he is an Emergency Medical Technician, certified by his home state and by the National Registry of EMTs, and a founding member of The Penobscot Compact, a business-education partnership operating under the auspices of the Maine State Aspirations Program. He makes his home in Camden, Maine.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780932633347
Publisher:
Dorset House Publishing
Publication date:
11/28/1995
Pages:
235
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

Paul Gray
. . . provocative . . . will force you to think. . . . the book is well worth reading.
— (Paul Gray, Information Systems Management, Fall 1996)
Alan Davis
Tom DeMarco is a master of the essay. The 24 essays in his latest book demonstrate his skill, exploring a range of issues facing the computing industry. DeMarco's style is unique and can best be described as a brilliant combination of honesty and 'damn the torpedoes' philosophy. DeMarco's book is abuzz with ideas, alive with whimsical anecdotes, and full of concerns for a computing industry not quite on the right path. . . .

I could rave nonstop about how great 'The Choir and the Team' and 'Rock and Roll and Cola War' and all the other essays are, but you really must read them yourself. You may not agree with every one, but you will certainly be amused, educated, and stimulated by DeMarco's romp through topics such as corporate politics, sociology, elementary education, video complexity, why Macintoshes are better than IBM-compatible personal computers, and a retrospective look at structured analysis. Enjoy the ride.
— (Alan M. Davis, Editor-in-Chief, IEEE Software, July 1996)

Capers Jones
Tom's writing can be likened to a pebble dropped into a pond -- it makes the reader's mind move in expanding circles from a specific topic to a more general conclusion. . . . The main value of the book is that it does not just repeat the common aphorisms of the software world, but takes a hard look at which ones are based on reality and which ones seem to have emerged from hot air."
— (Capers Jones, Chairman, Software Productivity Research, Inc.)
Michael Schrage
Very provocative but absolutely grounded in the reality of experience, DeMarco's perspectives apply across the continuum of innovation management — not just software. His essay 'Mad about Measurement,' on the managerial misapplication of productivity measures, should be read by anyone who's ever had to oversee a reengineering or 'change management' initiative.
— (Michael Schrage, Across the Board, November/December 1996)
Charles Ashbacher
This book should be presented as a graduation present to all senior computer science majors. And they should be forced to read it before they receive their diplomas.
— (Charles Ashbacher, Mathematics and Computer Education, Spring 1997 )
Ron Jeffries
. . . a collection of delightful essays about software engineering.
— (Ron Jeffries, ATMUSER, December 1996 )
Ed Yourdon
I can confidently assure you that you'll receive a minimum of 24 'Aha's' and well over 24 laughs by the time you finish Why Does Software Cost So Much? . . . a well-chosen 'Aha' is worth hundreds, thousands, or even a million dollars to a software organization.
— (Ed Yourdon, American Programmer, January 1996)

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