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97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts [Paperback]

Richard Monson-Haefel
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 15 2009 059652269X 978-0596522698 1

In this truly unique technical book, today's leading software architects present valuable principles on key development issues that go way beyond technology. More than four dozen architects -- including Neal Ford, Michael Nygard, and Bill de hOra -- offer advice for communicating with stakeholders, eliminating complexity, empowering developers, and many more practical lessons they've learned from years of experience. Among the 97 principles in this book, you'll find useful advice such as:

  • Don't Put Your Resume Ahead of the Requirements (Nitin Borwankar)
  • Chances Are, Your Biggest Problem Isn't Technical (Mark Ramm)
  • Communication Is King; Clarity and Leadership, Its Humble Servants (Mark Richards)
  • Simplicity Before Generality, Use Before Reuse (Kevlin Henney)
  • For the End User, the Interface Is the System (Vinayak Hegde)
  • It's Never Too Early to Think About Performance (Rebecca Parsons)

To be successful as a software architect, you need to master both business and technology. This book tells you what top software architects think is important and how they approach a project. If you want to enhance your career, 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know is essential reading.


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97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts + 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts + 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts
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Product Details


Product Description

Book Description

Collective Wisdom from the Experts

About the Author

Richard Monson-Haefel , an independent software developer, coauthored all five editions of Enterprise JavaBeans and Java Message Service (all O'Reilly). He's a software architect specializing in multi-touch interfaces and a leading expert on enterprise computing. More detail on his work and writings can be found at www.monson-haefel.com.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
If your looking for something that's going to teach you what a software architect needs to know, and you're just stepping into that role, this book isn't going to show you the nitty-gritty details of what you need. For that I would recommend something like Software Architecture in Practice. Instead, it's a collection of advice from experienced architects who are trying to summarize some key point into 2 pages.

Interesting reading if you are already in the architect role and want a reminder of those things you should be doing, but you'll need to know the details behind the advice to really make use of it. Worthwhile if that's what you're looking for.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Motherhood and Apple Pie May 11 2009
Format:Paperback
I found this book to be generally a disappointment. If you are looking for any in-depth treatment of any content on software architecture, you won't find it here. To be fair, one could probably guess that from the title and the length of the book.

The format of the book is such that each entry takes up 2 pages. However, most entries only need close to 1 page, so much of the book is white space. On the plus side, it's very small and light to take with you on the bus.

If you like reading blog entries that are mostly opinion pieces about the topics around software architecture (including personal communication, teamwork, business challenges, etc.), this might be a really good fit for you. I found that too much of the content is simply common sense.

Of course, our industry isn't the best at always applying common sense, so perhaps some people might find this useful as a gift to their coworkers. I would choose to apply my personal time and money elsewhere.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good easy read, full of good advice Sept. 19 2009
Format:Paperback
The book is filled with good advice given in short chapters.
This makes it not only easy to read,but one can literally jump to any part of the book.

The context offered is from architects with real experience.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
116 of 120 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I want my money back July 21 2009
By Rao Venugopal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Heavy on keywords and low on actual content / value.

Imagine your Dad rings you up and says, "Be sure to go to work bright and early..." or "The early bird gets the worm" and proceeds to ramble on for 5 minutes about why that is important. We have all been through this kind of lecture. For politeness sake, you bite your tongue and zone out.

Now replace Dad with Bill Gates/ Steve Jobs/ some famous architect. However the advice being doled out is similar. eg. "Be sure to have a decent UI for every component/ blah blah blah".
How would you feel if you had to read 97 articles by famous architects / tech gurus, each 2 pages long and the entire content of the article is in the first introductory line itself. The rest is fluff.
I don't know about you, but when I am paying 20+ dollars for a book, I expect more than simple fluff.

-V
75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money Aug. 5 2009
By Charles D. Sewell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is just an accumulation random advice collected for "free" off a blog. You will feel like you have read a bunch of fotune cookies (i.e. "The longest trip begins with a single step") on the topic of architecture. Not a single topic is explored in depth since each topic is only 2 pages in length.

I would not recommend this book.
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lack of Detail July 5 2009
By C. Roeder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I found many of the contributions interesting, but wished for more detail. Many are not much longer than a page and left me wanting.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars incoherent and useless Dec 25 2009
By Dr. Gernot Starke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Why does a famous (and, he has proven it, excellent) technical writer dare to compile
such a useless, incoherent and impractical amount of pseudo-advice?

His other books provided deep technical knowledge and practical help.

This one's not worth its price - there are much better books available...

alternatives: Taylor et al: Software Architecture (Foundations, Theory and Practice): Great read.
Bass et. al: Software Architecture in Practice: Great read.
Buschmann et. al: Pattern-oriented Software Architecture: Great series.
Fowler: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture: Great, highly practical...

So - don't bother with this one, go get a good book :-)
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really about software architecture, but pleasant reading nonetheless Aug. 7 2009
By brian d foy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
[97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know] is much more broad than most people would expect from its title. It's certainly true to its title, but I expected that it would have be 97 things software architects should know about software architecture. Many of the points, while good advice otherwise, aren't special to software or software architecture. They are points any manager, project leader, or executive could apply. It's really 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know, although there's already a book for that.

The first thing every software architect should know is what is expected from that job title, and I was hoping someone would at least try to define it. In reality, the title is a dumping ground for the tasks you don't give to the programmers but don't trust to the executives, and the job description varies widely.

My notion that nobody really knows what a software architect should do is reinforced by reading the advice from the many contributing experts, each of which briefly write about what they think is important. Some of that advice conflicts with other contributors, is so general so that the it would suitable in any business book, or merely shows that anyone touching a keyboard might be labelled a "software architect".

I was surprised that a lot of the advice tried to actually force the commoditization of "software architect", as if the actual person doing the job was interchangeable. An architect's experience, vision, and artistry should be at the center of the endevour. Architects are not cogs; they create and enforce the philosophy and design concept. In that regard, I actually only know a handful of software architects. Most people who consider themselves an architect, however, are probably merely applying the design and philosophy that somebody else created.

Setting aside the definition of architect, the advice is good for almost any project leader involved with software development no matter their job title. It's much better advice, however, for the journeyman who wants to be a project leader someday.

As with many management books, anecdotes are rife and facile. They are the sort of things you might mention in an elevator, such as changing the Mach 2.5 requirement of the then-future F-16 fighter plane to "escapes combat quickly", but that anecdote doesn't really help anyone, or at least not in the same way as something holistic and fleshed-out like Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed. I would have appreciated footnotes or references to complete case-studies.

Given the short format of each contribution, this generality is probably unescapeable. That's mitigated somewhat by the accompanying website for the book where longer discussions might take place. There's no overarching concept or guidance since the contributors are advising in different dimensions, coming from different experiences, and using their own idea of what a software architect should do. Very few contributors talk in terms of the complete software life-cycle; much of the advice in the vein is about requirements research, and even then is mostly about proper mindset rather than useful techniques.
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