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Debugging the Development Process Paperback – 1 Sep 1994

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on 15 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
There is enough good advice in any one chapter to improve your next software project (or your life.) Unfortunately, critical principles are explained through highly specific examples. If you are already an experienced project manager or mentor then the book will read like common (if rare) sense. If you are not an experienced project manager or mentor this book will not teach you how to become one. Try Steve McConnell's Rapid Development instead.
A real danger of this book is that the examples can be taken to mean exactly the opposite of what the author intends. For example, it would be easy to read the author's objection to *needless* process work as an objection to process work of all kinds.
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Format: Paperback
The author's style is wonderful- much more personal than most texts dealing with management, while still managing to be more than a collection of 'cute' anecdotes. This book will provide the greatest benefit to professionals, such as myself, who have had a few years experience in software development processes and are looking for that 'next level' of guidance. In that respect, Steve Maguire's writing is effective because he presents knowledge to the reader as if from a mentor to an apprentice.
I would, however, contrast it with another work which I believe to be equally important though radically different- "The Mythical Man Month". Where Maguire writes as a seasoned guru with an arm around your shoulder, Brooks writes like an evangelist and discusses software development on an almost religous plane. "The Mythical Man Month" also approaches the subject in a broader, more philosophical sense. In the end, I feel that I've gotten more out of each of these books having read the other. While contrasting in terms of eras (mainframe vs pc) and environments (short-sleeve button-down IBM vs hacky-sack Microsoft), it's interesting to note how many conclusions are shared between these works.
Bottom-line: read this book, you'll love it :)
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By A Customer on 29 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
There is more than enough good advice in any one chapter to make your project (or your life) dramatically better. The problem is that the book discusses important principles through highly specific examples. It is all too easy for people to misread specific examples and come to exactly the wrong conclusion. For example, Maquire is against needless process work (what developer isn't?) He's also working at the largest software organization in the world. In the smaller organizations I've worked with there is a crying need for more process work, not less. Reading Maquire it would be easy for someone to find "evidence" that they should spend less time on design work and planning! This isn't Maquire's point, but he's not there to straighten the reader out. If you are an experienced project manager and mentor you'll resonate with a lot of what Maquire says. If you aren't that experienced this book won't teach you how to be a great project manager. Get Steve McConnell's vastly superior "Rapid Development" instead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book maybe 15 years ago and it was a formative experience for me. Since then I've gone on to work in large software companies in product development/software engineering and the general sentiment and approach often laid out in this book has stayed with me.

It's probably way out of date in terms of technology these days. But if you can read past that, read into it the general ideas and approaches, there is a wealthy of experience.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains some obvious advice which could easily have been condensed into under five pages. Obviously people don't pay money for five page books, so the author struggles to pad the meagre hard advice with patronising anecdotes. Life is too short to waste time reading books like this. Try the superiour "The Mythical Man Month" if you want to read software development anecdotes with some general advice. Unlike the latter, I doubt that "Debugging the Development Process" will be talked about and reprinted in 30 years time.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best book I've read on managing and coordinating a software development effort. It discussed a lot of the software development "time wasters" as well as good practices. Additionally, unlike a lot of other software books, this book is extremely enjoyable to read. I finished it in only two days. I've already recommended this book to a bunch of my coworkers.
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Format: Paperback
Maguire pokes holes in the conventional wisdom concerning
leading development teams. He uses humor and real-world
examples to convey valuable information on how to run teams
effectively. Includes a highly principled view of the manager's
responsibility to the whole organization not just his/her teams.

Above all, it is valuable not just for product leads, but for
anyone who manages (or would like to learn to manage)in an
industry where deadlines, quality, and customer desires
regularly collide.
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Format: Paperback
I am a software engineer with 20 years of experience and found this text to be informative and useful. Mr. Maguire's style is easily read and his observations are backed by numerous examples. The text is limited, however, by Mr. Maguires lack of experience in other types of software projects that don't have double digit headcounts. Overall I found the book to be a good addition to my library.
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