Friday Books – Rapid Development

RapidDevelopment My list of “Must Have Books” would not be complete without a copy of “Rapid Development” by Steve McConnell.

To be honest this is more of a Manager’s book than a Programmer’s book, but I still advise programmers to get a copy and read it.  Why?  Well for one thing, most of your managers won’t bother.  So the only way they are going to get this information is if you read it and tell them.

There are also some real gems in here about how to deal with your manager.  For example, have you ever wondered why good programmers get promoted to management and then completely fail as managers?  It’s all in here.  And why is it your manager never recognizes your great work?  Maybe he is and you just aren’t hearing it.

The nine page section entitled “Classic Mistakes Enumerated” is alone worth the price of admission 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:

People-Related Mistakes

  • Heroics
  • Adding people to a late project
  • Politics placed over substance (etc.)

Process-Related Mistakes

  • Abandonment of planning under pressure
  • Planning to catch up later
  • “Code-like-hell” programming (etc.)

Technology-Related Mistakes

  • Silver-Bullet syndrome
  • Overestimating savings from new tools or methods
  • Switching tools in the middle of a project (etc.)

I suspect that you winced after reading each of these nine points. And you will learn a great deal from the remaining 640 pages about concrete solutions.

Unlike “Code Complete” this is not a read-it-slowly book.  And Steve is one of my favorite authors.  Imagine, someone technical who can really write!

Get it Now

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