Wednesday, February 15, 2006

shameless plug

I'm preparing a short report on changes to Microsoft development processes, focusing primarily on their use of Community Technology Previews. In the process, I remembered one of the best books on software development: Jim McCarthy's Dynamics of Software Development.

Disclaimer: I worked with Jim at Microsoft during some of the dark days of Microsoft C++ as well as in its renaissance. My first job at Microsoft was as a developer on the AFX team, which produced the Microsoft Foundation Classes and AppStudio (the visual resource editor).

Most people are familiar with Frederick Brooks' (justifiably) famous "Mythical Man Month" but I think Jim's book deserves to be equally well known. His 54 rules of thumb for shipping great software were the product of some painful lessons in building Visual C++, but they apply to any software project. In fact, even though I no longer write code for a living, most of the rules still apply:

Don't flip the bozo bit
Beware of a guy in a room
Don't trade a bad date for an equally bad date

Highly recommended.


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