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Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers,…
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Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One… (2007 original; edició 2007)

de Scott Rosenberg

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Why is software so hard? Hard to make well. Hard to deliver on time. Hard to use. Our civilization runs on software, yet the art of creating it continues to be a dark mystery, even to the experts, and the greater our ambitions, the more spectacularly we seem to fail. This book sets out to understand why, through the story of one software project--Mitch Kapor's Chandler, an ambitious, open-source effort to rethink the world of email and scheduling. Journalist Rosenberg spent three years following the work of the Chandler developers as they scaled programming peaks and slogged through software swamps. Here he tells their stories.--Adapted from www.dreamingincode.com.… (més)
Membre:apmckinlay
Títol:Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software
Autors:Scott Rosenberg
Informació:Crown (2007), Hardcover, 416 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software de Scott Rosenberg (2007)

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Mitch Kapor (of Lotus 1-2-3 fame) has the misfortune of funding an ambitious software project just as the World Wide Web was going through its Web 2.0 phase. It's a complicated story, related in a lot of detail, but without any heroes and without a happy ending. ( )
  superpatron | Feb 25, 2019 |
Rosenberg attempts to do for software what Tracy Kidder did for hardware in 'The Soul of a New Machine' back in the early 1980s. Rosenberg follows a team of software developers as they attempt to build an alternative personal information manager called Chandler to compete with Microsoft's Outlook and match/extend the capabilities of the Lotus Agenda product (Chandler was originated and initially funded by Mitch Kapor, the developer of Lotus 1-2-3). Well, we all know where that story ended - Chandler was eventually released in 2008 and after a few minor updates a final release was made available in 2009, since when the product has signally failed to fire much enthusiasm.

Rosenberg provides an interesting narrative of how the Chandler product development proceeded, but fails to put any real life into the story, leaving us unsatisfied and generally uninterested in what is going on and what the ultimate fate of the story is (the book was published before the final product was released and its subsequent fade-to-black). The problem here is that Rosenberg cannot decide if this is a book about software development or about project management. Software development is a devilish tricky thing to write about - how do you make the story of a guy (usually, a guy) staring into space for a while and then typing esoteric technical stuff into a computer something that people want to read about? At least project management involves human interaction and has some historical backstory (Rosenberg leverages Fred Brooks' 'The Mythical Man-Month' throughout).

As an insider (I have worked in the computer industry for 40+ years) I found this an interesting and relevant book. For non-geeks who want peek inside the kimono I don't think this gives them any more insight and understanding of what software development is than they had before. ( )
  pierthinker | Dec 7, 2015 |
A decent look at software development for those unfamiliar with the field. Not all software development is as hard as Chandler -- this was a good effort, but there's more to be said about what KINDS of things in software development are hard, and why. Chandler struggled with having too few constraints. No fixed budget or deadline allows for a lot of wheel-spinning. Also struggled with trying to build a platform as opposed to just a program, which is a common desire to be sure. Spoiled by a bad case of the Architecture Astronaut. ( )
  steve.lane | Nov 28, 2015 |
As CIO at a small college, I had the distinct unpleasure of signing purchase orders for software license renewals and maintenance contracts. In what other business would you buy a product that costs enormous sums of money, is guaranteed to be flawed, will require frequent and costly upgrades, never lives up to its promises, and requires a team of lawyers to interpret the contract, not to mention days of very expensive training for your staff. Welcome to the world of software.

Rosenberg follows the progress of the development of a software package from idea through development and debugging to end (actually, there is no end and to my knowledge they are still trying to come up with a workable product that may have already been superseded by others.). A major difficulty of development is getting many hundreds of programmers to work together and integrate their work into a cohesive product. Not to mention major resdeisgns in the middle of the project - try that with a bridge. The section on learning how to manage the project is worth the cost of the book. Programmers are well known for spending as much time designing the tools to help them use the tools and to save them time using the tools to work on the project than on the code itself.

"But in much of the business world today there lies, beneath the wide dissatisfaction with how software projects perform, a deeper anxiety—a fear that the root of the problem may lie not in failures of management technique but in the very nature of the people doing the work. To many executives, and even to their coworkers in sales or other parts of a company, programmers often seem to belong to an entirely different species. Communicating with them is frustratingly hard. They fail to respond to applications of the usual reward/punishment stimuli. They are geeks, and they are a problem."

I'm not a programmer, yet I found this book fascinating reading and learning about the dynamics of creating some of these monstrous programs. Vista, anyone?

Similar recommended titles: [b:The Soul of a New Machine|7090|The Soul of a New Machine|Tracy Kidder|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1165606419s/7090.jpg|882196] by Tracy Kidder.

OK, I admit it. I'm adding a quote that is very interesting but it also represents my playing around with my clippings file on the Kindle to see how easy it is to save and export quotes, etc. Really easy, as it turns out. This one relates to the difficulty of managing programmers (kind of like herding cats) and much of the reason stems from the attributes (almost an autistic or Asperger's personality -- in fact, there has been an explosion of diagnosed autism in Silicon Valley) of programmers.

"Forty-one percent of the IT professionals surveyed reported being introverted thinkers (combination of introversion and thinking preferences), nearly twice the percentage in the general population. Introverted thinkers often prefer a lone-gun approach to work, often avoiding teams, collaborative efforts, and the training that support such structures. This group is least likely to engage and connect interpersonally with others, and may avoid creating personal bridges of trust and openness with colleagues. . . A lot of people feel that communicating with the information technology professional is just slightly harder than communicating with the dead,” Abby Mackness, an analyst with Booz Allen Hamilton who conducted the Human Dynamics study, joked as she presented its results to a crowd of defense contractor employees and consultants."


( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
A very thorough discussion about open source programming focusing on the Chandler project, a personal information manager program, an Outlook like software program. There was plenty of IT jargon that was explained fairly well but it was a lot to slog through.
  walterqchocobo | Apr 8, 2013 |
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The shelves of the world are full of how-to books for software developers.
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Why is software so hard? Hard to make well. Hard to deliver on time. Hard to use. Our civilization runs on software, yet the art of creating it continues to be a dark mystery, even to the experts, and the greater our ambitions, the more spectacularly we seem to fail. This book sets out to understand why, through the story of one software project--Mitch Kapor's Chandler, an ambitious, open-source effort to rethink the world of email and scheduling. Journalist Rosenberg spent three years following the work of the Chandler developers as they scaled programming peaks and slogged through software swamps. Here he tells their stories.--Adapted from www.dreamingincode.com.

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