This really is a fantastic book for a non technical introduction to working with engineering functions. After reading the first couple of chapters I bought two extra copies and gave them out at work.
As someone who has been in both sides of the argument of trying to plan long term for tech projects from a business perspective and working as a developer trying to build to other people's plans I know how frustrating the tension can be. Of course the book won't solve it all for you, but it does illustrate and explain it in ways that are so clear I wish I had thought of them and had lots of invaluable suggestions for working together better.
It also has a strong introduction to a lot of technical concepts and solid management techniques for people new to working with engineers or tech people and all of it explained with elegant and straightforward style.
It really is a perfect introduction for a project manager or non technical business partner working with tech.
As someone who leads software development team, but took a non-traditional and rather circuitous route to get there (most importantly, not starting from a computer science background) this book is indispensable. It won't teach you how to write .net, but it will help you when someone who does tries to bury you under a mountain of jargon. Brilliantly written, easy to digest, and often very funny. I've already bought 2 more copies for friends who I know will find it equally useful.
A completely excellent book. Mr Gleeson has mastered the art of simple explanation for complex ideas and (seemingly) obscure practices. His writing is clear, concise - and funny (which lightens the tone of what could easily become a dry subject). For anyone who is a non-techie among techies, or vice versa, buy this book immediately. It is fantastic.
A fascinating look into the mysterious world of developers. No need to worry about being drowned in gibberish, Patrick Gleeson writes so clearly and straightforwardly that, even if you don't know your http from your html, you'll find this book invaluable. A must for any hapless project manager trying to keep a project on schedule.
This book takes a non-technical person through a wide range of topics around development - Agile, Continuous Delivery, Object-Oriented Design, TDD, Coding Interviews etc.
It (wisely) steers clear of trying to teach the reader to code, and shows very little actual code to you. Instead, it focuses on *how* development is done, and why. This leaves a strong impression of the unique challenges of development and how to manage them - exactly what you'd want for a non-technical person charged with overseeing a development project.
Some of the chapters are purely explanatory, to teach you the meaning of various bits of terminology, whereas others condense discussions about trade-offs between methods (e.g. scrum vs kanban) so that you get an understanding of the pros and cons of each approach.
It's a very strong, wide-ranging introduction to many of the issues around development, and (my favourite part) is delivered with a light humour throughout in a style that is very very readable. The best technical books feel like you don't want to put them down, and I got that feeling with this book in the first 10 pages.
I'm fully intending to buy a copy for the next non-technical collaborator I work with, and would recommend other people do the same.
* For full disclosure, I received a free review copy of this book but I don't think that's affected the review I've given.
This is one of those books that brings clear understanding to a well known but poorly understood subject. Why is it so hard to get IT projects to run well and deliver on time and budget? This book brings the much needed clarity, full of ah-ha! moments. It does the rare thing of explaining the thinking of the “other side” (tech coders) to show non coders that they really are trying their best for your project and why blaming them is a mistake. It’s entertainingly written and I’ve finished with a far better understanding on how to approach these projects in future. It should be required reading for management training courses and indeed for anyone who works in an organisation that uses IT and develops its own website or systems, especially if those have anything to do with customers.