A Funny Java Flavoured Look at the World

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ship It!: A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects - sample chapters are well worth a read

I have read about the book Ship it, it has been mentioned by quite a few blogs I have read. Then the other day I stumbled upon one of the authors blog. Anyway I thought I would see I would have a look for any of my favourite free sample chapters and like any book worth it’s salt it had a couple. The book is about development process and is meant not to focus just on one programming language but to develop process useful to different programming languages. I have to admit I like this books because I believe that actually writing the code is a small part of being a developer, it’s the process, designing, testing, building, interacting that uses up more of your time.

The introduction which I’m not usually a fan but I would even say that the introduction is pretty interesting and gives what seems an honest account on what the book is and how to use it.

http://www.pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/prj/introduction.pdf

One bit I find a bit unusual about the introduction is it talks about using a content management system. I cannot believe that people don’t use one these days unless they are very small and even then you would think they would. It left me a bit unsure what the rest of the book and what it may contain.

But the introduction redeems itself and gets back onto more interesting ground.

The second free chapter is a lot more interesting and useful, it basically seems to be a few useful excerpts from the book, which make a few tips.

http://www.pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/prj/tips_tech.pdf

The second free chapter I found to be quite interesting and although I have something similar to the List which it recommends using, it’s isn’t probably as useful as the system they are suggesting.

To summarise the chapter recommends to have a prioritised list and you tackle the top priorities (not the easy one’s at the bottom) first. It also states that you should be able to mark them off, so they have to have an achievable target, something you can tick off.

I enjoyed reading the two sample chapters I thought I would have a look at Amazon to see how much the book is, here's a link

I also thought I would look at the content of the book. I like the look of this book and might try and get my company to purchase it for the team (well I can but try). Even if the company won’t buy it, it is only £10.66 on Amazon, which is pretty good value for money

Foreword Preface 1 Introduction 1.1 Habitual Excellence 1.2 A Pragmatic Point of View 1.3 Road Map 1.4 Moving On 1.5 How Should I Read This Book? 2 Tools and Infrastructure 1. Develop in a Sandbox 2. Manage Assets 3. Script Your Build 4. Build Automatically 5. Track Issues 6. Track Features 7. Use a Testing Harness 8. On Choosing Tools 9. When Not to Experiment 3 Pragmatic Project Techniques 10. Work from The List 11. A Tech Leads 12. Coordinate and Communicate Every Day 13. Review All Code 14. Send Code Change Notifications 15. Putting It All Together 4 Tracer Bullet Development 5 Common Problems and How to Fix Them 16. Help! I’ve Inherited Legacy Code 17. Testing Untestable Code 18. Features Keep Breaking 19. Tests? We Stopped Using Them 20. But It Works for Me! 21. It Hurts When I Integrate Code 22. Can’t Build the Product Reliably 23. Customers Are Unhappy 24. You’ve Got a Rogue Developer 25. Your Manager Is Unhappy 26. Team Doesn’t Work Well Together 27. Can’t Get "Buy-in" on Essential Points 28. The New Practice Didn’t Help 29. There’s No Automated Testing 30. We’re Junior Developers, With No Mentor 31. We’re on a "Death March" Project 32. Features Keep Creeping In 33. We’re Never Done A Tip Summary B Source Code Management C Build Scripting Tools D Continuous Integration Systems E Issue Tracking Software F Development Methodologies G Testing Frameworks H Suggested Reading List H.1 Bibliography

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