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Business Patterns for Software Developers Paperback – 3 Feb 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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About the Author

Allan Kelly has seen the software industry from many different angles – has held just about every job in the software world and has worked with just about every type of company there is. As a result he has seen the many different ways of doing business the industry has, and seen many of the same ways repeated.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nat Pryce, one of the authors of Growing Object Oriented Software Guided by Tests, is quoted as saying that pattern books generally have two sections. First is the is a highly interesting preamble, then come the patterns. Allan Kelly has certainly written a patterns book in the traditional two parts, the difference is that both parts are very interesting indeed. The description of software company lifecycles was both informative and sensational to read and is by far my favorite part of the book.

I had genuine trouble putting the book down. Gone is the often dry pattern descriptions common among other patterns authors. What give this book the edge for me is that I'm learning about something other than software and I am easily able to relate the patterns to my own experiences. This is the first time I've really understood what a pattern language is and, like all good patterns books, it taught me names for, and gave me a greater understanding of the patterns I see around me. It helped me understand the forces and the solutions in greater detail.
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I've been working professionally in software for 16 years. I've worked for a large range of companies, from an international blue chip IT provider to a start-up. Allan has captured the breadth of businesses creating software. Reading the patterns had the right effect: I recognised them. Allan has given the patterns a name and related them to each other. It's a book that I will be referring back to. Those with experience: read this book.

Those with little or no professional experience: read this book. You will quickly learn about the business of creating software. Today, more than ever is expected of developers: design and implement systems quickly; make systems easy to change; make systems of high quality; understand the domain better than the domain experts; understand the business context. This book will short-cut you to the thinking tools you need for understanding the software business you work in: I wish it existed when I started out.
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This book is OK for someone with no business or IT experiences
If you know what ISV means you will probably not learn anything from this book - if you don't then may be useful to you.
I was therefore very bemused by the other 5 star reviews for a book that just rehashes well know cliches and recipes for business strategy.
Prescribing and writing about strategy is easy in my opinion - Execution is always the problem ! so to be fair no book of this genre can never help much with this.
I was however not expecting this type of wishy washy strategy book - I was hoping for a more technical book, more geared towards software - this book is very generic and could apply to lots of businesses not just software - so I found it very disappointing.
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Having read many of Allan Kelly's patterns in conference papers before I was very excited to see how they act as a whole. I was amazed that they have even gained more of their tension and momentum through their clever assembly. In addition to all the knowledge and experience that gushes out of every pattern, there is yet more in an extensive introductory section on software business. This is actually one of the biggest achievements of this book: It crosses the border between software and business and answers questions like: What are the goals beyond writing perfect code? How is the money earned that pays developers? How can it be earned in completely different ways with the same code?

The book is an easy read. As with every inspiring pattern language it was hard to find a point to stop absorbing all the stunning experience for launching a company and tasty knowledge about sales organisation. Although there is brilliant guidance you always want to read just one more pattern. Every time I did close the book I caught myself thinking about how to apply the insights for my own business, even when I already knew a pattern for years. The patterns offer a lot of possible goals and enable you to make educated choices. In addition they brightly illuminate the pitfalls on the way.
Jump in at any pattern and you will immediately find yourself sitting in a cosy chair starting an amazing journey. This book is the developer's guide to the galaxy of business strategy. And it tells you how poachers join the jazz combo to jump across the chasm!
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