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4.9 out of 5 stars
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4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 29 May 1999
Mr. McConnell has obviously 'been there, done that' and he has taken it a step farther than most authors - he has a LOT of different approaches to try that depend on what your problems are and conversely, your strengths. I've run projects (many not strictly software development) and the approaches he presents apply to them also. The only thing I would suggest is that you need to remember the title - this is a Rapid Development book. If you have problems in your development cycle - follow his advice and use any one of the variety of methods he presents to gain CONTROL of your operations before you attempt to squeeze the last man-month out of your schedule. A big part of effectively producing software (or other projects for that matter) is avoiding the devastating mistake - everything else is just fine tuning.
A well thought out and presented book. I highly recommend it.
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on 30 December 1998
There are not many books that you can open at any page, at any time, and say 'Ain't it the Truth'. This is a pragmatic and practical bible about the problems, pitfalls and 'classic mistakes' of project management, coupled with recommendations and 'best practices' for every style of project.
I have used this book as a University textbook, and every mature aged student with development experience made the same comments; basically 'Ain't it the Truth'. One said 'When I read the chapter on 'classic mistakes' I cringed; How many of those classic mistakes have I made?'.
Why did I adopt this as a textbook? Because a project manager said 'Look at this book. We have 6 copies in our office, and everyone reads it'. What better recommendation for a text book for learning programmers and analysts.
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on 11 February 1997
If there's one book you're going to get on software development then this is it. McConnell consolidates the writings, reseach, and teachings of many authors into a single hefty book. A good reference for all of the buzzwords, terms and approaches in software development today.

The only issue I have with the work is its breadth which detracts from the focus normally associated with a schedule driven/compressed project. In his attempt to be comprehensive McConnell has covered mutch ground, unfortunately he only scratches the surfice in too many areas. This makes Rapid Development a good compilation of software engineering concepts but without the depth required for people to improve their own ways of building applications.
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on 9 October 1998
I wish I had known about this book 3 years ago when I started my first software job. Full of important software engineering concepts, presented in a clear and humorous manner. I got (and read it) a month ago, and it made a major positive impact in getting the crises at work under control. It's full of references to research, books and papers that I now use as ammunition to push for better software engineering standards in my company.
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on 15 March 1997
Once again, if you are a software professional, you owe it to yourself to get this book and read it. The thing that made this book stand out for me was that it started to give names to some software practices I've been doing just because they "felt right". Being able to explain what I've been doing by using the terms "evolutionary prototyping", "staged delivery", and "evolutionary delivery" helps a lot!
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on 20 November 1998
The best part of the book is the title - it beguiles innocent managers into believing Rapid Development is possible. It then leads them into well constructed arguments, with very true to life examples that there are no silver bullets or short cuts to the software development process, regardless of what methodology/coding is used.
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on 14 June 1999
I have suggested this book to my brother in law, who creates new soda flavors, and to a friend, who owns a woodwork shop. Substitute the words "woodwork" or "soda" for "software", and you still have a great book. If your job requires design and planning, no matter the discipline, buy this book.
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on 6 August 1997
Steve McConnell has a very clear and concise writing style. He has a no nonsense approach to project management. Rapid Development is a must read for all developers and development management. Have your team take two hours a week and review it together. We did!
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on 8 April 1997
Steve McConnell has again done an excellent job of making the incredibly complex intelligible. If you look at the breadth of subject matter that he necessarily had to cover, and compare his book with others attempting to cover the same, you'll see it stands head and shoulders above almost all of the others. Though he could have included more for the single-programmer shop, overall he does a superb job of bringing out the issues a developer will surely face. He helps you understand the principles that let you face them head on and win. It is just short of a "how-to" manual, but gives you all the information to formulate your own "how-to". It has a place on my top shelf with his other great book, "Code Complete", all of C.J. Date's books on relational theory and a few other selected books I consider to be the best in their subject area. Great job.
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on 12 March 1999
As more and more senior executives are demanding all three sides of the product pyramid (Low Cost, High Quality, and Speed to Market) development managers are under more pressure than ever before to tame software development schedules. McConnell takes a very realistic look at what kills schedules and ultimately projects. Any development manager would be hard pressed to not nod their head in agreement or snicker at some of the horror stories used as examples. The book's examination of Risk Management through fully understanding how projects go bad is a must read. I know that I've made chapters 1 through 4 must reads for my project managers.
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