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Professional Software Development

By Stephen McConnell

Published by Addison-Wesley 2004

ISBN: 0-321-19367-9

 

The best “short attention span” summary I can think of is actually a quote from the back cover of the book:

 

            “If you are a programmer, software developer, engineer, or work in software development, you should READ THIS BOOK” (caps are in the original quote!)

 

This book is a very easy and enjoyable read. McConnell’s writing style flows very smoothly and he engages you with relevant anecdotes based on his many years of experience in the field.

 

Part One of the book starts with a kind of “Where we are” in the software development arena and exposes some of the common pitfalls one must have encountered if you’ve been in this business any length of time. I particularly enjoyed the section in Chapter Three on “process-oriented” development versus “commitment-oriented” (Hero) development. Having been on both sides of that coin it was interesting to see that my viewpoints were shared by others (without making judgments about one being better than the other).

 

Part Two of the book digs deeper into the software developer as an individual and here again I found McConnell’s writings to be “right-on” with regards to everything from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to the personality characteristics and demographics. The rest of Part Two is equally well read with sections on raising your own professionalism and community building.

 

Parts Three and Four step further away from the software developer as an individual and focus on organizational and industry characteristics covering topics such as licensing and certification, code of ethics, as well as CMMI, and of course Contstrux’s Professional Development Program.

 

The first time I picked up this book I finished it the same evening. I have since re-read it several times and continue to refer to it with each new project.

Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 7:44 PM Book Reviews | Back to top


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