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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Civic Apps Competition Handbook

Author: Kate Eyler-Werve and Virginia Carlson
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 78
ISBN: 978-1449322649
Audience: Organizers of App contests
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Sue Gee

The idea of the Civic App Competition isn't new but it has not yet gone global - although this slim book may act as a catalyst.



Parallel Programming with Microsoft Visual C++

Author: Colin Campbell & Ade Miller
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-0735651753
Aimed at: Intermediate/advanced C++ programmers
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Well structured, good explanation
Cons: Could be longer
Reviewed by: Mike James

If ever there was a language that needed a book on parallel pr [ ... ]


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