- Taschenbuch: 620 Seiten
- Verlag: O'Reilly and Associates; Auflage: 1 (18. November 2010)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0596808321
- ISBN-13: 978-0596808327
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 17,8 x 3,3 x 23,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 120.198 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Making Software: What Really Works, and Why We Believe It (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 18. November 2010
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly & Associates, specializing in books on Linux and programming. Most recently, he edited Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies.
But do these things really work? Do they make us faster or the resulting software better? Very few people seem to care. Most people just tell you to do it this way or that way.
This book provides reliable answers. In each chapter a method, a common assumption gets challenged. Various studies get presented and the results discussed.
After reading this book you will have lots of information about what actually works and possibly even more important: Under what conditions these results apply.
I consider this a very valuable resource for directing your personal or organizational development efforts, no matter if you are a developer, a team lead or a manager of a software development team.
Each chapter is written by a different scientist, this has some important consequences:
1) From a scientific point of view the authors know what they are talking about.
2) Each chapter is written in a somewhat different style. In general the style is somewhat dry so it isn't exactly an easy reading. But it is far more digestible than the average scientific publication.
If you are interested in more details about a given topic each chapter ends in a long list of references for further research.
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The editors of this book do a great job of explaining what we can and can not expect from research. They also adopt a very pragmatic mindset, taking the point of view that appropriate practice is highly contextual. Research can provide us with evidence, but not necessarily conclusions.
Beyond the philosophical underpinnings, 'Making Software' outlines research results in a variety of areas. It gives you plenty to think about when considering various approaches on your team. The chapter 'How Effective is Modularization?' is worth the price of the book alone.
I recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn how to think rigorously about practice.
It would be a 5 star if someone like Steve McConnell had taken the entire contents of the book and written a single coherent text from it. As it is the quality of writing and explanations varies a lot from article to article. For example, in some of the articles the authors decide to show us the code or the SQL statements used to extract data. I found this distracting (who cares how they pulled data from a database?) because I wanted to get to the meat of each piece. I suspect the book could be 1/2 to 2/3 the size it is today with a rewrite.
Despite my reservations this is a very worthwhile book. If you sit down to read it you'll likely find it hard going in places: it's dense and detailed. But that goes somewhat with the territory. This isn't a book about evangelizing the latest development fad, it's about hard data on what does and does not work in software engineering.
Refreshing, if a bit long.
The articles are divided up into two sections. The first covering general principles reads a lot like a fairly advanced university level textbook and it got really tempting for me to give up on the book a number of times while reading that section which would have been a real pity since the second section covering "Specific Topics in Software Engineering" is far easier to read and a lot more interesting as well.
There is plenty of material in the second section of the book that will help any programmer to improve the way that they write programs. A lot of the alternatives presented are beyond the control of the programmer though and so it is far more important that the managers in charge of programming departments be made aware of the information that this book provides.
While at least some of the information that the book presents should be obvious to any experienced programmer - some of the information may also be completely unexpected. The authors of the articles have done an excellent job though of specifying exactly how they obtained the data upon which their conclusions are based and so it should be reasonably easy to work out just how applicable each should be to any given situation.
I recommend that those without the background to fully understand the material in the first part of the book persevere with it as whatever part of it that you do manage to comprehend will aid in your understanding of what the extremely useful second part of the book actually means.