Author: Watts S.Humphrey & William R. Thomas
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2010
Aimed at: Software developers
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
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.