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See the introduction to the series for more information
Rapid Development Taming Wild Software Schedules
by Steve C McConnell
Amazon Price: $28.00
Paperback - 647 pages (July 1996)
Microsoft Press; ISBN: 1556159005 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.71 x 9.20 x 7.41
This book is essentially a companion book to update for The Mythical Man-Month and should be read after it. Steve McConnell repeats some ideas of Brooks and present some additional that became current since the publication of The Mythical Man-Month.
The level is slightly lower that in Brooks as Steve McConnell never lead the project of the size of OS/360.The nine page section entitled "Classic Mistakes Enumerated" is alone worth the price of the book and should be required reading for all developers, leads, and managers. Here are some types of the 36 classic mistakes that McConnell describes in detail:
ERCB Rapid Development - Dr Dobbes Review
The following excerpts are located on other Web sites and may or may not be available at any given time. The links are provided to our readers as a convenience only.
Practical Guide With Real Life Examples, August 3, 2003
The author says at the outset the Purpose of the book is to answer
issues about trade-offs. The author says that software can be optimized
for any of several goals: lowest defect rate, lowest cost, or shortest
development, etc... Software Engineering is then about achieving
tradeoffs, and this is what this book is primarily about.
Organization of the book:
In chapter 3 the author talks about 'Classic Mistakes'. He calls
them 'classic' and 'seductive' because they are so easy to make
that they have been repeated in countless projects. The classic
mistakes number 36 (though Steve M points out that a complete list
could probably go on for pages and pages):
Part 2 covers rapid development issues in greater detail.
Part 3 is a compendium of best practices. There is a summary table of the each best practice, and the efficacies, major risks, major interactions and trade-offs listed.
Some candidate best practices not included are getting top people
The Best Practices listed are
The book has a very engaging style of writing...
All in all, a fully deserved five stars!
Outstanding Software Development process book, July 22, 2003
Steve looks at 3 dimensions of the problem - people, process and technology. In the spirit of haste, lots of mistakes are made. Steve then covers many of the techniques available, and identifies their impact to schedule, risk, and other factors. This isn't just a "how I learned how to do it" - it's backed up by hard research on what works, and what doesn't. Invaluable information for anyone serious about improving their ability to survive in such a hypercharged environment.
Ultimately, there is no silver bullet to this problem. Telling your project manager to read this book won't solve world peace. But carefully applying the tools and techniques listed will do you a world of good.
Showed this to my former boss and he stole it from me...,
February 21, 2003
Very well written, easy to read with lots of advice to consider and follow.
Almost everything you need to face sucessfully any software project is covered. I have many other software management books and papers, and after reading them all I keep checking on this one as reference. From my point of view, this book is a must and a strong first buy for those who not only head a programmers group, but also for programmers itself.
A few years ago, and with that book recently bought, our programmer group stopped our manager (a non programmer) to take some "common" sense adjustments to a very cumbersome, badly designed and also delayed proyect (as most of his last important projects were): Wanted to add more people to the delayed project, force us to work round the clock to finish on time, abstract final users from validating our progress, and remove any more testing, leaving it to the end of the project.
After many hours discussing with him and reading him complete chapters of this book (and some other books), we decided to stop our work, took a day free to clear our minds, keep our team unchanged, sat with our users to reschedule delivery times and keep working from 9 to 6.
We didn't complete the work on time, but past projects were misscalculated by 50%, ours ended late by just 20%.
Now, on my new job where projects were (and are) delayed usually more than triple of time with a lots of non-payed extra hours ended on time or with little delays (company culture is very difficult here), within our budget and rarely needing extra time. Other teams on my company keep working forever on a always delayed work refusing to believe there is a better way to work here, to be at the end, looking to work somewhere else or leaving entire projects unfinished or needing a severe rewrite.
Our team uses this book (without approval from our systems director) and also two other titles that compliment the way we work (very well): Code Complete and Peopleware.
I do strongly recommend to get those books also.
Destroyed all misconceptions of the development process,
October 31, 2001
After digging around numerous sites, reading literally hundreds of reviews, and soliciting the opinions of fellow developers, I finally settled on ordering "Rapid Development" and one of the other books by the same author, "Code Complete".
All I can say is "holy cow". "Rapid Development" was delivered to my door around 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. I picked it up and right away read chapter 3 - "Classic Mistakes". The scenario presented in the chapter just about blew my mind; it detailed every issue I have ever come across in the development process that has stalled or killed a project. It was also well written with a dry, witty humor; a definate must for any technical book about typically dry subjects.
After reading that one chapter, I flipped back to the beginning of the book and read it all the way through. I didn't put the book down until midnight, and after I had, there were all sorts of ideas screaming through my head I could apply to my current engagements.
Managers and non-technical people will greatly benefit from this book too. Have you ever that manager who stands over your shoulder asking you how it's going, why you're doing something a certain way, or what's taking the project so long? Give this book to your manager and tell him to read Chapter 11, "Motivaton". Chapters 3 and 11 provided the proper explanations for the constant recurrance of certain software project issues ("Why are the programmers working twelve hours a day and the project never seems to get any closer to completion?" "What exactly is so hard about adding this one feature to the program that was never accounted for in the first place?" "If those programmers are such geniuses, why won't they share code or use each other libraries?") to persuade my company to buy this book for all developers and technical managers.
Never has a technical book provided me with so much insight and so much open-ended, thought-provoking detail. I was able to apply about a third of the principles described to about 90% of all the projects i've ever worked on without thinking for more then a minute or two. The other two thirds proved themselves when digging deeper into the various issues.
Blah. What a burst of hot air. I've personally never EVER written a review for a book (never enough time), but I just HAD to stop and give five stars to this one.
BUY THIS BOOK. AND BUY IT FOR YOUR MANAGERS. NOW.(...)I am THAT confident that it provide at least one improvement to the way you develop software, if not many.
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