Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules
by Steve McConnell
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Recommendations on Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules

Recommendations from domain experts (curated by Highlyreco)

Joel Spolsky's Review:

Steve McConnell captures a lot of the development management ideas that Microsoft figured out in their first decade or so of developing software on a large scale. You'll see a lot of overlap between the ideas in this book and my wholly unoriginal Joel Test (surprise, surprise), although the emphasis here is on getting control of the scheduling process.

Ref: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/navlinks/fog0000000262.html

Jeff Atwood's Review:

The full title of this book is Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Development Schedules, which isn't just long-winded and vaguely ridiculous, it's also an unfortunate misnomer.

Rapid Development isn't about rapid development. It's about* the reality of failure* . The vast majority of software development projects will fail: they will overrun their schedules, produce substandard results, or sometimes not even finish at all. This isn't an argument; it's a statistical fact. The unpleasant truth is that your team has to be very good to simply avoid failing, much less to succeed. While that may sound depressing – okay, it is depressing– you'll still want to read this book.

Why? Because half* of success is not repeating the same mistakes you, or other people, have made. The epiphany offered in this book is that making mistakes is good– so long as they are all new, all singing, all dancing mistakes. If you're making the same old classic mistakes, you've failed before you've even begun. And you probably have no idea how likely it is that you're making one of these mistakes right now.

Our field is one of the few where change is the only constant, so it's only natural to embrace that change and try different "Rapid" development techniques. But the converse isn't true. We can't assume that so much has changed since 1970 that all the old software development lessons are obsolete and irrelevant when compared to our hot new technology. It's the same old story: computers have changed; people haven't. At least have some idea of what works and what doesn't before you start– in McConnell's words, "read the instructions on the paint can before painting." Sure, it sounds obvious enough until you read this book and realize how rarely that actually happens in our field.

* According to the book, technically, one-quarter. But I think it's more than that.

Ref: https://blog.codinghorror.com/recommended-reading-for-developers/