Why Does Software Cost So Much?: And Other Puzzles of the Information Age Paperback – 6 Dec 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Why does software cost so much? DeMarco bristles at the question. Compared to what?! "[its] not a question at all; it's an assertion." In a series of essays DeMarco and others make observations that ring true. Here's one gem: "I suspect the typical software engineer doesn't work overtime to make the schedule, but in order not to feel so bad about not making it."
All of the essays are brief and to the point. The book was first published in 1995 and several of the essays are works published earlier. A few that mention particular technologies, languages, or management fads are showing signs of age. The essays that concentrate on the sociology of programming still hit home. And why not? Tools and technologies evolve quickly but people and their habits don't.
DeMarco's casual and fluid writing style make each of the essays easy to read but be careful not to confuse "easy to read" with "trivial." There is plenty here to make an engineer think and to give a CEO some insight into the complex and sometimes baffling world of software.
The only reason I didn't give this book five stars was that some of the essays seem to have been thrown in as an afterthought to make the book thicker. A few didn't really flow together with the rest of the book.
This book contains a few interesting essays at the front, but as it proceeds the pieces tend toward unsubstantiated opinion, and then the book finishes as a means for publishing dross that otherwise wouldn't be printed.
and this book is full of very worthwhile material. It has
the shortcoming of being a collection of articles, so don't
expect a coherent beginning, middle and end; and you may
find that you agree with the author in one chapter and
disagree in the next. I found, though, that I even enjoyed
the stuff with which I didn't agree. DeMarco's thinking
and his writing style are that good.