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I.M. Wright's Hard Code: A Decade of Hard-Won Lessons from Microsoft (2nd Edition) (Developer Best Practices) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0735661707 ISBN-10: 0735661707 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Best Practices
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 2 edition (July 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735661707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735661707
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric Brechner, Director of Development Excellence at Microsoft Corporation, has more than two decades experience in the software industry. He began writing “Hard Code” in 2001 as a resource for Microsoft employees. Since then, the opinion column has ignited an ongoing discussion of best practices among the thousands of software development engineers at Microsoft—and now, to the rest of the development community.


More About the Author

Eric is the development manager for the Xbox Engineering Fundamentals team. He is widely known within the engineering community as his alter ego, I.M. Wright. Prior to his current assignment, Eric managed development for the Xbox.com web sites, was director of engineering learning and development for Microsoft Corporation, and managed development for a shared feature team in Microsoft Office. Before joining Microsoft in 1995, Eric was a senior principal scientist at The Boeing Company, where he worked in the areas of large-scale visualization, computational geometry, network communications, data-flow languages, and software integration. He was the principal architect of FlyThru, the walkthrough program for the 20 gigabyte, 500+ million polygon model of the Boeing 777 aircraft. Eric has also worked in computer graphics and CAD for Silicon Graphics, GRAFTEK, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He holds eight patents, earned a BS and MS in mathematics and a PhD in applied mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is a certified performance technologist. Outside work, Eric is a proud husband and father of two boys. His younger son has autism. Eric works on autism insurance benefits and serves on the University of Washington Autism Center board. In the few remaining minutes of his day, Eric enjoys going to Seattle Mariners games, playing bridge, coaching Math Olympiad and baseball, and umpiring for Little League. Although Eric shares I. M.'s passion for product, he tries to be a little more tolerant and open-minded.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bryan J. Higgs on March 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I first heard about this book when I read the following review on about.com:

http: // visualbasic . about.com / od / vbbooks / fr / Br9780735661707.htm

It piqued my interest, despite my being retired, and having known for some years that I would never be interested in becoming manager of software projects -- definitely moot at this point! Many years ago, I dipped my little piggies into project leadership (not even real management!),and have remained emotionally scarred ever since.

When I started reading this book, my initial reaction was that the author was a self-centered, opinionated, arrogant jerk with way too much self-confidence. But then he's a relatively senior manager at Microsoft -- that's probably par for the course: he wouldn't be where he is if he wasn't capable nor full of confidence! His prose is, er, entertaining, and doesn't pull any punches -- intentionally so; he does it for effect, and to get a reaction (these were articles originally written for an internal publication at Microsoft). It took a while for me to get over this, and start listening to him (while gritting my teeth).

I didn't find the first few chapters terribly absorbing, but I stuck with it, and gradually things started to get more interesting, until -- around Chapter 5 -- I found material I could really relate to.

It was interesting to read in this book so many of the tenets that should have been followed at one of my former employers (a very large software company), but weren't. This book suggests very strongly that Microsoft has a much better handle than my former employer (a Microsoft competitor) had on how to develop software. Of course, I take with a giant pinch of salt how true the Microsoft characterization really is, from a very pro-Microsoft author.
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Its about fundamental of software engineering. Read it to be a mature dev, test or pm. Thanks Eric. You are awesome.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dominick on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Eric Bechner's I. M Wright's "Hard Code:" A Decade of Hard Learned Lessons from Microsft is one of the three books that I read over my vacation. In the interest of full discloser this review is written for O'Reilly's Blogger Review program and this is a only a striaght review of the text; I will be looking at some of the ideas in the book in greater detail in later posts.

Overall the book is great and is applicable to pretty much any software developer of any level and I especially feel that the book should be read by students who are interested in working in a large software development firm or the IT department of a large corporation.

However, readers of the text should approach it with the understanding that they are not reading this text to learn how to develop software, but rather to learn how to navigate in the software development industry; i.e. you will not read anything about the intricasies of .NET, C#, or C++ in this book, but you will learn how to effectively interface with managers and co-workers.

There are parts of the book of course that are very particular to Microsoft, but these sections are few and far between and still provide an interesting read and many of the lessons from the Redmond specific chapters can be applied to many other large organizations. This is a must read for anyone interested in advancing their software development career in a corporate environment or if you are just interested in seeing how software development works in large companies.
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