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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars out of date,
By A Customer
This review is from: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules (Paperback)This will teach me to check a book's publication date before I grab it. The first couple of chapters seemed curiously old-fashioned, so I flipped through the rest of the book. That's when I spotted a Line of Code section that used Basic, Pascal and 'Macro Assembler' as example languages.
I could almost wax nostalgic over the idea that rapid development is exemplified by a nine month in-house automation project for sales people. Those were the days - 1996 to be exact.
I still have Steve McConnell's 1993 Code Complete, which is a classic. And his 1997 Project Survival Guide, which is still relevant. All I can say about Rapid Development is that it was probably a good anthology of current practice when it was written.
This posting is anonymous because McConnell fans will probably flame this review.
5.0 out of 5 stars All-in-one project reference,
This review is from: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules (Paperback)Learn about project scheduling, risk management, and peopleware issues in this well written book. The example scenarios re-enforce the ideas presented throughout the book.
In the end, you'll walk away with a solid understanding of the project development cycle.
5.0 out of 5 stars IT Management Must,
This review is from: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules (Paperback)I found this book to be enlightening on so many issues. I bought it thinking that it was touting a new methodolgy that would save the world from failing IT projects and found that it was a general summary of many things that will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your IT team. It is very insightful and an overall good read.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every software professional,
This review is from: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules (Paperback)I'm a big fan of eXtreme Programming (XP) so I was particularly interested in reading this book to see if I could pick up some ideas and concepts different from that of XP. I was quite suprised to see many of the concepts and best practices McConnell presents in this book are very consistent with XP's practices. I also like how McConnell gives lots of references for his claims. He gives plenty of convincing data and supporting arguments to show what many of us already know yet many managers refuse to believe. Things like mandatory overtime can make productivity go down, the importance of moral, why managers can't control all the variables of a SW project (cost, schedule, & product). Overall this book is a great read and I really believe if everyone followed this book's best practices, especially 40 hour work week and honest scheduling, the entire SW industry would be much better than it is today.
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Guide With Real Life Examples,
This review is from: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules (Paperback)Steve McConnell's books have always displayed a remarkable degree of practicality and readability. This book is no different.
The author says at the outset the Purpose of the book is to answer issues about trade-offs. The author says that software can be optimized for any of several goals: lowest defect rate, lowest cost, or shortest development, etc... Software Engineering is then about achieving tradeoffs, and this is what this book is primarily about.
Organization of the book:
In chapter 3 the author talks about 'Classic Mistakes'. He calls them 'classic' and 'seductive' because they are so easy to make that they have been repeated in countless projects. The classic mistakes number 36 (though Steve M points out that a complete list could probably go on for pages and pages):
Part 2 covers rapid development issues in greater detail.
Part 3 is a compendium of best practices. There is a summary table of the each best practice, and the efficacies, major risks, major interactions and trade-offs listed.
Some candidate best practices not included are getting top people
The Best Practices listed are
The book has a very engaging style of writing...
All in all, a fully deserved five stars!
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Software Development process book,
This review is from: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules (Paperback)Unrealistic schedules are the bane of the software world's existance. In a world of "the quick and the dead" and "first mover advantage" achieving the unachievable seems to be a way of life in the industry. Steve McConnell takes a level headed approach at this crucial problem.
Steve looks at 3 dimensions of the problem - people, process and technology. In the spirit of haste, lots of mistakes are made. Steve then covers many of the techniques available, and identifies their impact to schedule, risk, and other factors. This isn't just a "how I learned how to do it" - it's backed up by hard research on what works, and what doesn't. Invaluable information for anyone serious about improving their ability to survive in such a hypercharged environment.
Ultimately, there is no silver bullet to this problem. Telling your project manager to read this book won't solve world peace. But carefully applying the tools and techniques listed will do you a world of good.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one project managment book - buy this one!,
This review is from: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules (Paperback)If there is any one book that all developers and would-be project managagers should have - it's this one. Steve McConnell's writing style alone makes this an enjoyable read. Filled with tons of empirical data that is germane for any software project, this book is a tremendous resource. Having developed software professionally for over ten years now, I still find this book my favorite. Even though it was published in 1996, all of the material contained therein is still very pertinent to today's N-tier software development projects.
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent resource,
This review is from: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules (Paperback)Despite the fact that this book is over 5 years old -- its still an excellent resource. I used this book in my Software Project Management course for my Master's Degree and can definiltly see myself using it in the future at work.
The book clearly explains the many risks and strategies involved in Rapid Development. The author uses anecdotes and examples effectively to illustrate his points. Many of the ideas build on top of each other to reinforce good methodologies for a project manager to follow -- but the book can also be read randomly (a chapter here, a chapter there).
This is a great resource from a developer's perspective too -- it gives you the ammunition to debate with an untrained, unknowledgable, misinformed or mislead project manager who's asking WAY too much and doesn't even realize it. I think anyone involved in the software engineering process will be able to take away a lot of knowledge from this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Project Management Reference for ALL Software Professionals,
This review is from: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules (Paperback)Anyone who has ever been on a software project is initially confused by all the chaos involved. When Ford can churn out good quality and inexpensive automobiles and McDonald's can serve millions of satisfied people around the world, and we can put man on the moon, why do the most reputable companies struggle to deliver even the simplest of software projects?
After being on two new model launches at Ford that went smoothly, I moved into IT at the beginning of the economic boom in the mid-nineties and asked the same question. Why is the IT world so inept at managing software projects? My boss at the time quickly whipped out this book and asked me to read it cover to cover before asking any more questions or wasting any more time trying to figure this out. I did as I was told and found the answers I was looking for. I also found answers to questions I hadn't asked yet but I would have eventually. I instantly purchased a copy of this book for my long term personal book collection.
The book contains a thorough discussion of various software development practices and their effectiveness using case studies very extensively. These case studies stick in your mind really well and drive home the point that the author is trying to make. The book also talks about the most classic mistakes on any software development project and then details several strategies to avoid them altogether on your own project.
I still refer to this book whenever I feel nervous on a software project that something's not right. You don't need to be technical to understand the book and the book is written for anyone on a software project - from the project manager to the developer to the tester. I can't believe the pricing on the book. I am always comparing the value I get from any book I purchase and this is one of the most reasonably priced books for the 600 + pages of wisdom it provides. Share this book with your colleagues and friends, they will definitely thank you for it. Get a copy and start taming those wild software schedules!
5.0 out of 5 stars Showed this to my former boss and he stole it from me...,
This review is from: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules (Paperback)This is the second time I buy this book, but even if I cannot tell you this might be the bible of project management, is very close to being that.
Very well written, easy to read with lots of advice to consider and follow.
Almost everything you need to face sucessfully any software project is covered. I have many other software management books and papers, and after reading them all I keep checking on this one as reference. From my point of view, this book is a must and a strong first buy for those who not only head a programmers group, but also for programmers itself.
A few years ago, and with that book recently bought, our programmer group stopped our manager (a non programmer) to take some "common" sense adjustments to a very cumbersome, badly designed and also delayed proyect (as most of his last important projects were): Wanted to add more people to the delayed project, force us to work round the clock to finish on time, abstract final users from validating our progress, and remove any more testing, leaving it to the end of the project.
After many hours discussing with him and reading him complete chapters of this book (and some other books), we decided to stop our work, took a day free to clear our minds, keep our team unchanged, sat with our users to reschedule delivery times and keep working from 9 to 6.
We didn't complete the work on time, but past projects were misscalculated by 50%, ours ended late by just 20%.
Now, on my new job where projects were (and are) delayed usually more than triple of time with a lots of non-payed extra hours ended on time or with little delays (company culture is very difficult here), within our budget and rarely needing extra time. Other teams on my company keep working forever on a always delayed work refusing to believe there is a better way to work here, to be at the end, looking to work somewhere else or leaving entire projects unfinished or needing a severe rewrite.
Our team uses this book (without approval from our systems director) and also two other titles that compliment the way we work (very well): Code Complete and Peopleware.
I do strongly recommend to get those books also.
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Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules by Steve McConnell (Paperback - July 9 1996)
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