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Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering (Agile Software Development) [Paperback]

Robert L. Glass
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £28.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 Oct 2002 0321117425 978-0321117427 1

The practice of building software is a “new kid on the block” technology. Though it may not seem this way for those who have been in the field for most of their careers, in the overall scheme of professions, software builders are relative “newbies.”

In the short history of the software field, a lot of facts have been identified, and a lot of fallacies promulgated. Those facts and fallacies are what this book is about.

There’s a problem with those facts–and, as you might imagine, those fallacies. Many of these fundamentally important facts are learned by a software engineer, but over the short lifespan of the software field, all too many of them have been forgotten. While reading Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering, you may experience moments of “Oh, yes, I had forgotten that,” alongside some “Is that really true?” thoughts.

The author of this book doesn’t shy away from controversy. In fact, each of the facts and fallacies is accompanied by a discussion of whatever controversy envelops it. You may find yourself agreeing with a lot of the facts and fallacies, yet emotionally disturbed by a few of them! Whether you agree or disagree, you will learn why the author has been called “the premier curmudgeon of software practice.”

These facts and fallacies are fundamental to the software building field–forget or neglect them at your peril!


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (28 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321117425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321117427
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 498,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The practice of building software is a “new kid on the block” technology. Though it may not seem this way for those who have been in the field for most of their careers, in the overall scheme of professions, software builders are relative “newbies.”

In the short history of the software field, a lot of facts have been identified, and a lot of fallacies promulgated. Those facts and fallacies are what this book is about.

There’s a problem with those facts–and, as you might imagine, those fallacies. Many of these fundamentally important facts are learned by a software engineer, but over the short lifespan of the software field, all too many of them have been forgotten. While reading Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering, you may experience moments of “Oh, yes, I had forgotten that,” alongside some “Is that really true?” thoughts.

The author of this book doesn’t shy away from controversy. In fact, each of the facts and fallacies is accompanied by a discussion of whatever controversy envelops it. You may find yourself agreeing with a lot of the facts and fallacies, yet emotionally disturbed by a few of them! Whether you agree or disagree, you will learn why the author has been called “the premier curmudgeon of software practice.”

These facts and fallacies are fundamental to the software building field–forget or neglect them at your peril!

About the Author

Robert Glass is the founder of Computing Trends. He has written more than a dozen books on software engineering and on the lessons of computing failures. Robert is trusted by many as a leading authority on software engineering, especially by those who read his columns in Communications of the ACM and IEEE Software. Robert also publishes a newsletter, The Software Practitioner, and speaks frequently at software engineering events.



0321117425AB09232002

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!!! 5 Dec 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a great book! Obviously written be somebody who loves software development but who is amazed at how certain things don't change no matter how fast the tools and technology change around us.
Each of the facts and fallacies in this book is discussed in some detail, and there are lots of notes and references if you want to follow up. The wrtiting is always clear and very readable. If there's an underlying theme it's "don't believe the hype!". It should be the mantra of everybody involved in software development.
This is one of the most enjoyable and interesting books on development that I've ever read. Buy it and take what it says to heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent diversion from work 4 April 2003
By Jennifers Daddy TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent diversion from reading text books or doing normal work, but it's conclusions are still highly valid for any project. I found it a humourous read, and for virtually every point made I found my self nodding in agreement.
I highly recommend lending the book to your boss prior to a personal appraisal, as the first two points are about how worthy good developers are!
Any software developer should get this book for a bit of light reading, and bring back those memories of past project disasters!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 19 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book founded in common sense, real life experience and genuine evidence. Most of the rest of the field of software engineering literature is characterised by idealogues and snake oil salesmen. This is the best cure to snake oil.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and needed 21 Jan 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The reason why I am nothing throwing in all 5 stars is that the books style irritates me a little. I would rather have all the references and sources in an appendix in the end of the book, rather than after each fact & fallacy.
But that said, the f&f that is shown here are good to be reminded of for almost any programmer. I wonder a bit why a fact stating that COBOL is the best business computer language is needed - true that it may be it is irrelevant and carries not the same weight as other statements in the book (I could add another fact about SNOBOL being the best string-manipulating language etc., but whats the relevance...?).
The book is part of the eXtreme / pragmatic / agile programming paradigme that we see these years. And true is it that Robert L. Glass doesn't bring that much new stuff - he is referring to his own old books a lot of the time - but from personal experience I have already seen that managers are impressed by the facts stated here.
So after all: The book should be used to throw in a couple of facts in an argument with a manager. That, or Dilbert...
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely awful! 10 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback
Robert L. Glass has been working as a self-taught software developer for many decades, and because he is so self-taught he keeps doing things wrong and mocking the industry all the way. Not only that, he is also mocking the research and academia. That all without any valid argument. His arguments are self-referenced, and always caused by a lack of knowledge. Everything in this book is basically what you believe as a person without proper software engineering education. In my interpretation, software engineering and state-of-the-art techniques were already coined in 1968. People like Robert L. Glass are too ignorant to apply these. Instead, they keep mocking all techniques for decades, without applying them, and their mockery is always caused by a lack of knowledge about how to apply them.

Let's suggest the following hypothesis: Glass is mocking everything and calling it immature because he is too dumb to ever get a good grasp of any software engineering technique. All he knows are the simple bits and pieces that all self-taught programmers know.

My hypothesis is supported by his mockery (papers and books) see them on wikipedia ([...] and also by his absolute lack of knowledge of any software engineering technique in-depth (see how dumb the Software Creativity 2.0 is, in which he reinvents wheel and makes it flat).

The only reason Robert L. Glass has any recognition is the number of decades he has been in the industry. Whoever sympathizes with Glass tends to similarly lack knowledge of proper software engineering techniques in-depth. I call these people pseudo-engineers, charlatans, and frauds.
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