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Why Does Software Cost So Much?: And Other Puzzles of the Information Age Paperback – 6 Dec 1995

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (6 Dec. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 093263334X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932633347
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 16.3 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 598,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book is short, funny and to the point. Joel goes through how to attract and retain the best talent in development. There is something here that all managers must know before hiring developers... For top management the concept of a factory does not hold. Explained once again by Joel.
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By A Customer on 26 Jun. 1998
Format: Paperback
Some of the essays are great. Some don't even seem pertinent. For example, there is a discussion about A/V equipment that, while humorous, felt out of place. On the whole, there was a lot of thought provoking material, however.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, funny, and very readable 17 Jan. 2001
By B. Scott Andersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The software industry has been cranking out books at a record pace. Any self respecting software professional reads anywhere from a handful to a pile each year. But, if an engineer could get upper management to read one book so they could better understand the engineer's world, which book would it be? This one comes to mind.

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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very thought provoking essays on Software Engineering 13 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Tom DeMarco has to be one of the most clear and lucid writers in software engineering. In this book he covers a wide range of material, all with the same light, easy to read style. Almost every essay raises questions or provides insight that I had not considered before. DeMarco has definitely changed my outlook (or at least made me think more critically) on many areas of my career in 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.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The title essay is interesting... 7 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I really enjoyed Peopleware, I was disappointed.
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eminently readable and well thought out. Good Stuff. 23 Oct. 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
DeMarco is a wonderful writer...easy, even fun, to read,
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some great some not 26 Jun. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Some of the essays are great. Some don't even seem pertinent. For example, there is a discussion about A/V equipment that, while humorous, felt out of place. On the whole, there was a lot of thought provoking material, however.
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