Better Software Faster

Author: Andy Carmichael, Dan Haywood
List Price: $39.99
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ISBN: 0130087521
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR (09 May, 2002)
Edition: Paperback
Sales Rank: 95,521
Average Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5
Clear and pragmatic, an excellent companion.
Better Software Faster provides an excellent, clear and pragmatic approach to developing complex systems. Not only is the book the most useful tool companion that I have ever read, it also identifies and explores the key issues that face software development teams today without overloading the reader with academic process.

BSF challenges each unit of process to prove it's value before it is accepted into the team's software development environment - following the school of "build it up" with the essentials, rather than "strip down" that many process users are accustomed to.

Along with a truly in-depth guide to using Together, and a pragmatic development process, BSF explores issues of domain modeling, requirements modeling (functional and non-functional), cost estimation, and quality from a base of practical experience.

A true informational heavyweight, each chapter is littered with experiential pop-ups where the authors share some great insight. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into this - a sit-down read.


Rating: 5 out of 5
A Reference Book for System Development Teams
I had great pleasure and interest reading "Better Software Faster". The great value and uniqueness of this book is that it presents in a comprehensive way a development process, the tool that supports it and the main techniques to accomplish each step. The presentation is made easy to read through an example which is clear, complete and which works.

The book also addresses some key technical points that I have never seen addressed elsewhere.

It should be the reference book of each system development team.


Rating: 5 out of 5
Down-to-eath, pragmatic, readable
This book felt like a fresh breeze on a subject that has been dragged ad infinitum through a morass of books on this methodology or that process. It is not another methodology, nor is it merely a process (though there are solid roots in proven methodologies and processes).

The book impresses most with its down-to-earth practicality. Developers should quickly recognize the authors as two of their own who have spent a lot of time out there in the trenches. I helped review the manuscript for the publisher, and I found myself constantly distracted from the task of looking for problems in the text because I kept on highlighting interesting stuff that I wanted to go back to. I learned much then, and I am still learning.

The work is jam-packed with highly pragmatic advice, based on long experience, on how to tackle object-based, distributed development projects using a readily available development environment. (TogetherSoft's Together ControlCenter is the authors' weapon of choice... as far as I know it's the first third-party book to focus on this killer development platform. For TCC users, the book is probably worth it's price for the expert tips and tricks alone.)

Example abounds. The authors have built a reasonably robust distributed application (for an auto servicing shop), with both local and internet-based clients, around which the text revolves. (You can download the source code free from the book's website.) The language is Java, and the focus is on building distributed applications in a team setting.

Anyone relatively new to distributed apps (as I am), especially corporate developers and project managers, will probably benefit most from this book, though I think even the most seasoned veterans could find some interesting tidbits (artifact management and ControlCenter tips, for example).

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