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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like it
97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know is a book about things which are obvious and every software architect should know, remember and employ. The problem is that most things you can find inside the book are easily forgotten, underestimated and usually not implemented during day-to-day work.

The book consists of 97 short essays. Each of them deals with...
Published on 26 Mar 2009 by Krzysztof Satola

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More fluff than substance
This is *not* a book by Richard Monson-Haefel but rather a collection of short and content-light pieces by a number of different writers you've probably never heard of. Indeed the pieces would be too short to even qualify as a magazine article.

Each 'chapter' is typically three, short, paragraphs of bland generalisation. Introducing each 'chapter' is a piece of...
Published on 17 Feb 2010 by Mr. Edward W. Kenworthy


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More fluff than substance, 17 Feb 2010
This is *not* a book by Richard Monson-Haefel but rather a collection of short and content-light pieces by a number of different writers you've probably never heard of. Indeed the pieces would be too short to even qualify as a magazine article.

Each 'chapter' is typically three, short, paragraphs of bland generalisation. Introducing each 'chapter' is a piece of fluff about the writer (think mini-CV crossed with an advert) which is often a significant fraction of the 'chapter'. And where the same writer has authored more than one chapter the fluff about him is repeated.

A very, very high noise to signal ratio and what signal there is is of very low quality.

Avoid.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read during boot up, 1 Oct 2009
By 
CT (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
The articles in the book are very short. I read three or four when booting up my machine on the morning.
These aren't the type of article that will give you a detailed insight into a topic, example: stand up when talking in a meeting. However, they are good tips for performing better in your job.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like it, 26 Mar 2009
By 
97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know is a book about things which are obvious and every software architect should know, remember and employ. The problem is that most things you can find inside the book are easily forgotten, underestimated and usually not implemented during day-to-day work.

The book consists of 97 short essays. Each of them deals with a vital problem software architects often have to face. Although there are great number of brilliant stories in the book I especially like the one titled: You're Negotiating More Often Than You Think, which is about a project sponsor wanting to cut down expenses. Does it sound familiar to you? Do you know what to do when it happens? The book is a collective work which makes it even more valuable.

Every day in the morning I start my work reading 1-3 essays to keep good practices in my memory and not forget management pitfalls lying in wait for me round the corner. I believe it helps me to become a better software architect. This book is a great and rare opportunity to learn from real experts in the field.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good checklist for any software architect, 8 May 2012
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You can't judge a book by its cover but you can certainly ask questions about its title. Why '97 things every Software Architect should know'? Why not 98, 99 or even 100? Well the word on infoq ([....]) is that they wanted a number near 100 so that there would be enough material for a reasonably sized book. Fair enough so... The book contains 97 articles published by a range of software professional expressing their views on various aspects of software architecture. Many of the articles are not very technical in nature and there are - perhaps - a lot of similarities between this book and '12 Essential Skills for Software Architects' where author Dave Hendricksen focusses on non-technical skills essential to be a succseful architect. Other articles probably aren't just things an Architect should know but really things anyone working in Software Engineering could benefit from knowing and thinking about. I even include Project Managers in that!

That said, there are some really enjoyable bits and pieces. My favourite parts:
* Keith Braithwaite's reminding of the architect's need to quantify things. Characteristics such as average response
time should be not be phrased using terms such as 'good' or 'satifactory' but quantified as something like:
'between 750ms and 1,250ms'

* Craig Russell's points about including the human interaction time in any performance analysis. The system
may respond very fast to API calls, but the if the UI is counter-intuitive, it means the user will spend a longer time try to
get his result.

* Michael Nygard advice for engineering the 'white spaces'. Don't just have arrows between components specifying the
communication protocol, describe the performance expectation of interaction e.g. 100 requests per second, response time
250ms 99% of time. Describe how the system will handle overload, bad response times, unavailability etc.

* Mark Richards classification of architectural patterns:
- Enterprise Architecture Patterns: EDA, SOA, ROA, Pipeline architecture
- Application Architecture: Session Facade, Transfer Object
- Integration Patterns: File sharing, RPC, Messaging
- Design Patterns: GoF

* Gregor Hohpe arguments about the 'predictive call-stack architecture' becoming a thing of the past.
In massive distributed systems, it's not so easy to define the order things happen in. Architectures now have
to be able to respond to event in any time order.

* Bill de hOra discussion of inevitable tradeoffs using Brewer's conjecture (CAP) as example.

* Dave Anderson's arguments for the inevitabitly of legacy and preparing your system for maintenance.

So plenty of good advise in a short book that never gets too technical. The role of the architect is not just to be understanding complicated problems but to stand back and look at the big picture, checking for gaps and to ensure the right actions are taken to ensure project success. This means it's not really just about things a software architect should know, but about things a software architect should ensure they do not forget.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bunch of good blog entries or small essays, 19 July 2009
By 
Dennis D. Jensen (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This book is a good collection of small blog entries or essays if you will. Nearly all of these are good reminders of what is essentially good thinking or practice for a software architect. They range from down to earth technical advices to overall process and collaboration and roles, to the philosophical guiding points of software architecture. Some of them may even seem or are self contradicting, but this only highlights the importance of taking context into account when you make decisions based on some of the condensed principles or learned knowledge of this book.

I find it particular interesting to be able to go back to a topic or subject in one of the essays and find the arguments for some considerations that's suddenly imperative for a decision you need to make now or communicate to somebody. The book is perfect for looking up or revisiting a subject when you need it. The titles of the essays are in most cases small soundbites or reminders of the subject in themselves, making it possible to quickly refresh a point made somewhere in a certain context.

I am a system/software developer, and some of the essays are a bit too philosophical to my taste, but fortunately those essays are in the extreme minority. I have enough experience to recognize a genuine experience or knowledge born out of practical expediency when I see it, and most of the essays in this book are of this kind.

Sure, I could just maintain a bunch of links to the relevant websites that substantiates the same essays, but having them collected in a book, easily accessible, is suitable for this kind of knowledge: These essays are nearly timeless in their advices and suggestions.

It's easy to go read a handful of the essays in 15 minutes or there about. I think some other reviewer suggested to do as he did, namely read a couple of essays every morning as quick reminder, because almost all these essays are truisms of the kind that you usually forget although you do know them.

I especially like the essays "Seek the Value in Requested Capabilities" by Einar Landre, "Everything will ultimately fail" by Michael Nygaard, "One Line of Working Code Is Worth 500 of Specification" by Allison Randal, "There Can Be More Than One" by Keith Braithwaite, "Simplicity Before Generality, Use Before Reuse" by Kevlin Henney, "Get the 1,000-Foot View" by Erikk Doernenburg, "It Is All About The Data" by Paul W. Homer, and many others. It's not really fair not to mention any more essays, but this review is getting long enough.

I give it 4 stars of 5, because the book is really good for software architects, technical project managers, software developers, etc. or people who aspire to be one of those, or maybe just a better one. It's not up there with the nearly immortal classics or epitomes that lives on for years, even decades, so 5 stars is out of the question as far as I am concerned. I especially liked that the book was kept short (less than 200 pages) and still managed to get alot of knowledge through, a hallmark of any good book. Maybe it really deserves 5 stars of 5, but let's wait 10 years and see.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, easy to read short snippets, 24 Mar 2011
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Books like this one are great for those with little time - featuring short learnings / tips on a topic- as they are easy to pick up and put down - unlike books that have heavy long chapters.

A great way to learn from seasoned experts in the field. Covers a wide range of topics from patterns to team communication. One of the best IT Architecture books I have read in a while.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to read and useful advice, 27 Nov 2010
Easy to read but clever advices from people who deal on a daily basis with architecting and re-architecting systems.
Statements that you as architect and developer go on collecting as you experience increases but if you see it witten by another architect ina book you say "Ok, I was not the only one thinking this way."
A great way to consolidate you know-how in this area.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Read it online for free, 6 Sep 2014
By 
T. Cromarty "TeeJay" (Hampshire UK) - See all my reviews
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Waste of money. The source material for the book can be found online at http://97things.oreilly.com/wiki/index.php/97_Things_Every_Software_Architect_Should_Know_-_The_Book
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can do without, 18 Mar 2010
By 
Didn't really like the overall presentation of the book. The 97 things every developer should know, well there are a couple which are interesting and make sense, the others are just blabbering on what the author think is best. And it's pretty expensive for a book that you go over once and throw it back on the book shelve.
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4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's amazing what passes for wisdom sometimes, 24 Aug 2009
By 
I'd give it a miss if I were you. I've read about 10 of the 97 things so far, and it's all either stating the bleedin' obvious or trotting out some typical business-speak waffle that doesn't actually mean anything. This is the sort of book that's neither enternaining nor useful. If you're looking for a good read, try 'The Player of Games' by Iain M Banks instead, which is brilliant and fascinating modern scifi!
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