Initially I didn’t much like this book. Here’s why:
- It’s mostly about software as a product. My experience is with software as an in-house problem solution.
- It spends most of its time talking about the various roles involved in building software, and what tools are available to support those roles, and not what software is and how to build it. But I have to admit: the subtitle of the book (A deep dive into all the roles involved in the creation of software) covers some of this objection.
- When the book does finally get to talking about programming/coding (after more than 60 pages of avoiding it), it leaps into it with too little explanation about what that really means and is.
- Similarly, the book does an excellent job of identifying the types of testing and the roles involved in doing it, but spends too little time on what a test is and what it should look like.
- The book expects its readers to use the same kind of development environments that the authors discuss; since I am not familiar with those environments, this was a problem for me.
In other words, my first impression was that the book sort of assumes the reader already knows what software development is, and thus all the reader needs to know is how to organize the doing of it. But that’s not what the book’s back cover says it’s going to be: “The topics that are covered do not require a deep knowledge of technology in general.”
But then I have to admit that the book grew on me. It does some things interestingly and well, like putting specific people into the software development roles, as the subtitle promises, and then interviewing those people about the tasks they perform and how they perform them.
So, in the end, I guess I have to say this: the book could indeed be fairly useful if you’re interested in building (and marketing) software as a product; if you already know some rudimentary things about what it means to program and to test; and if you know and accept the programming environment the authors use.
Oh, and the writing style? Breezy, occasionally annoying, but for the most part you, the reader, feel like you get to know and like the authors.
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