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Software Project Survival Guide (Developer Best Practices) 1st Edition

79 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1572316218
ISBN-10: 1572316217
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Software Project Survival Guide (Developer Best Practices) + Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules + The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Read the entire review of this book.

Targeted at managers (from the top of organizations down through technical leads), McConnell's book provides a blueprint for a successfully managed project; the postulated development effort involves "3 to 25 team members and schedules of 3 to 18 months." At 288 pages, the book could be thinner, but it's easy enough to get through. McConnell has an engaging, conversational style, with a tinge of irreverent humor -- both of which make this book easy to approach. He uses little jargon and includes a comprehensive glossary, so nontechies should find it easy enough to follow.

-- Chris Jaekl, Dr. Dobb's Journal -- Dr. Dobb's Journal

About the Author

Steve McConnell is recognized as one of the premier authors and voices in the development community. He is Chief Software Engineer of Construx Software and was the lead developer of Construx Estimate and of SPC Estimate Professional, winner of Software Development magazine's Productivity Award. He is the author of several books, including Code Complete and Rapid Development, both honored with Software Development magazine's Jolt Award.

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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Best Practices
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (October 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572316217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572316218
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am founder and CEO at Construx Software (www.construx.com). I've written Code Complete, Software Estimation, Rapid Development, Software Project Survival Guide, and Professional Software Development. I live in Bellevue, WA.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Tom O Bjorkholm on November 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
Most (but not all) information in "Software Project Survival Guide" was also presented in "Rapid Development" by the same author.
The value of this book is not in the amount of information, because "Rapid Development" provides much more information and many different best practices.
The value of this book is the clear road map it gives you for running a project according to the "staged delivery" model. The checklists in the book are invaluable.
This book is a blessing for everyone who is overwhelmed by the amount of information in "Rapid Development".
I think this book is the perfect companion to "Rapid Development". "Rapid Development" is the authoritative reference for a lot of good practices. "Software Project Survival Guide" provides the checklists and road maps to keep the project on track in every phase of the project.
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134 of 149 people found the following review helpful By John Boddie on May 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
I was disappointed in this book - perhaps it was a problem with expectations. McConnell's previous books - Code Complete and Rapid Development -were very well written and provided valuable insights into best practices in the computer industry. By attempting to do the same thing here, the author missed the mark. The Software Project Survival Guide presents a road map marked with good practice applied in a mature organization that understands the nature of software and responds rationally, providing the resources and time required to do the job right. The overwhelming majority of people who are taking on their first project management job will have few, if any, of the benefits that this book takes for granted.
Don't get me wrong. This is a great collection of really good ideas and it's really well written, but it doesn't give much guidance to the first-time project manager who needs to deal with misdirection and misunderstanding from those who he or she reports to. The book presents a fine set of suggestions on "Techniques for Really Good Project Management," but there isn't much on "Survival."
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Brian Jones on January 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is especially helpful to those either: 1) new to managing projects 2) have never been formally trained in managing projects 3) are more on the business side of the fence and need insight into the software development process
I highly recommend this book if you fall into any of the above categories. I also recommend buying this book for any non-technical bosses.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Linda Zarate on July 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
Computer books written in 1997 are either obsolete or classics. This one is a classic and a timeless one at that because it gives a straightforward approach to development projects that is consistent with best practices. Best practices are usually born from lesson's learned from disasters. While there have been criticisms that this book might not be up to the realities of web development, I believe that the inverse is true: too many web development projects are initiated before they are properly planned, and are not effectively controlled because of unskilled project managers. But that's a personal opinion.
What you will find in this book that is applicable to any development project, regardless of whether the goal is a web- or e-commerce-based system, client/server or host-based. What you get is a structured approach to planning and estimating using proven methods (as opposed to pulling numbers out of thin air), excellent advice on organizing and motivating (and protecting) a project team, and how to manage delivery and release of a quality product. What I particularly like is the life-cycle framework, the controls provided to manage scope and product integrity and the emphasis on testing, release and quality. However, much of this can be mined from other books. What sets this book apart and makes it a classic is the wealth of tips and checklists and the way the author weaves his experiences into the approach. What makes this book effective is the copious advice given throughout about dealing with politics, people issues and other project and career killers. This book is about surviving projects and if the advice liberally sprinkled throughout is heeded it will go a long way towards helping you to do just that.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
McConnell's released books on good construction practises, and good development practices. Now he finishes the circle with a book on good management practices. McConnell has a very good way of integrating the thoughts of many prominent industry gurus into a readible comprehensive format. His talent is to recognize the best ways that improve people as software workers. The thoughts and techniques from his previous work, Rapid Development, were excellent, and it is "the Software Project Survival Guide" that puts those techniques into concrete perspective. He concentrates on only a few of his published techniques, those that are most tried and true, but also provides a framework well suited to young and upcoming technical students hoping to become managers. (Like myself 8-D) A great companion to this book is Tom Demarco's "The Deadline", as it adds the human-element of managing projects that sometimes seems missing from McConnell's book. This is not to the detriment of McConnell's work, it is just that his approach is different. McConnell's books are readible, interesting, and are the _best_ comprehensive books on improving yourself as a software worker. He's the guru of the 90's.
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