Software Project Survival Guide

ISBN 1572316217

I loaned his other, more voluminous, book RapidDevelopment to a project manager at a large Dutch insurance company. His only comment was: "Too many options" So I guess SteveMcConnell felt the need companies have of decreeing a manageable set of directives that 'always apply'. When I'm up to my neck in the complexity of a project I like the conciseness of this book, though, and the checklists.

We all want some magical hero to run in and solve all our problems for us. However, in the real world, we may just have to make decisions and do work ourselves - that is, after all, why they pay us.

(Sorry about the tone, but I've been in a number of situations where our own management told me/us to stop working on a problem because "vendor X is going to come in and solve all these problems for us. Trust us; they said they'd fix it all." Often, they just take our money and make the problems worse. Face it: No rational 3rd party is going to take on your risk for you without being paid a premium. -- JeffGrigg) (Should that be "Rational" with a capital R?)

Jeff, have you read the book? From that comment, I assume not. I think he makes a good argument for why the practices in the book are good ones, and also makes it clear that they won't always be appropriate. Sure, we have to think for ourselves - but that doesn't mean we can't base our decisions on what has worked for others.

From my experience, many projects I have worked on would have been improved by adopting something like the practices of the SoftwareProjectSurvivalGuide (and probably improved further by someone deciding on better practices, but any improvement would have been welcome).

-- PaulHudson
See also RapidDevelopment, "the other book."

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