Reflections on Management

Author: Watts S.Humphrey & William R. Thomas
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0321711533
Aimed at: Software developers
Rating: 5
Pros: Highly readable, contains good counsel
Cons: Slightly repetitive


A collection of essays that everyone involved in a software project should read is selected by Sue Gee as the Best Book of 2010 in our Career Development category.

Author: Watts S.Humphrey & William R. Thomas
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2010
Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0321711533
Aimed at: Software developers
Rating: 5
Pros: Highly readable, contains good counsel
Cons: Slightly repetitive
Reviewed by: Sue Gee

The subtitle of this slim volume is How to Manage Your Software Projects, Your Teams, Your Boss, and Yourself and it lives up to its promise.

It is in fact a collection put together by William Thomas from the writing of Watts Humphrey over a 15 year period but it has been done so skillfully that you don't notice the joins. What you do notice is that the structure makes it very easy to read about a topic you might be interested in with each chapter starting with a clear outline of what is about to be covered in each of its numbered sections

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There are four parts to the book, and as per the subtitle they are Managing Your: Projects/Teams/Boss/Self. This inevitably leads so some repetition of ideas but the prose is so well written that I really didn't mind. What might have seemed like glorified common sense coming from some other writer felt like sound advice anchored in real experience - something backed up with lots of personal anecdotes from a prestigious career with IBM and then at  the  Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute where he founded the Software Process Program.

The book make many references to the three process methodologies for which Watts Humphrey is best known - the Personal Software Process (PSP); the Team Software Process (TSP) and Capability Maturity Model (CMM) for Software. These are outlined in the appendix - and if you aren't familiar with the acronyms read these five pages first.

There are gems in every chapter of this book - reading it will make immediate sense to anyone who works in the software industry and will help them take control of processes that can be nebulous, time wasting or which are overlooked at peril to efficiency and success. 

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Scalability Rules

Author: Martin L.Abbott & Michael T. Fisher
Publisher: Addison-Wesley, 2011
Pages: 272
ISBN: 978-0321753885
Aimed at: Web developers, architects and managers
Rating: 4
Pros: Well thought-out, readable style
Cons: Format leads to repetition
Reviewed by: Alex Armstrong

This small format book is summed up [ ... ]



Java Performance

Author: Charlie Hunt & Binu John
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 720
ISBN: 978-0137142521
Aimed at: Experienced Java Programmers
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Provides highly technical information in an accessible way
Cons: Bias towards Oracle
Reviewed by: Mike James

Performance is a topic that engages most Java  [ ... ]


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