Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
The best book ever on what software design is
on 23 March 1999
I am the silicon valley chapter president of the Association for Software Design and World Wide Institute of Software Architects, and I'm always on the look out for really good books on what design is. Most books miss the boat entirely.
I had the pleasure to read the galleys before the book went to the publisher. As always, Alan has a very engaging and provocative writing style.
A lot of people confuse Design with programming. This is like confusing Architecture with construction engineering. But really they are very different, even in a legal context, for the design and architecture about fitness to purpose, and programming and construction are about appropriate implementation a design. It's easy to construct a house without an architectural design, but it can be very frustrating to move around and use the space. You can also program software without design, and the result is "software that needs to be spanked", as Alan says.
What is really great about this book is that Alan shows what software design is, in contrast to programming, and shows that while it is not an engineering science, it isn't touchy feely mumbo jumbo either. In the later chapters he talks about an actual methodology he uses in his company to do design, and these techniques can and should be widely copied.
You'll learn a lot from this book: you'll know what software design really is, AND how to do it. And unless you are a programmer with a fragile ego, you'll split your sides with laughter as well.