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The Unplugged (The Unplugged: Join a new breed of developers that don't use computers. Much.) Hardcover – 2009

16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

'The Unplugged' is a little but mind-blowing book you'll love to read.
Product developer Meulenberg shares how he has developed for some of the largest companies in the world... without having to use a computer. You will find yourself experimenting with the mind-blowing ideas and inventions in this book within no time!

CHAPTER 1
Software development drains money and eats time, especially when you encounter changes. Clients change their minds and so do you. Without going into tedious change-management tips, this chapter shows you how to use changes to your advantage instead of letting it block your progress.

CHAPTER 2
Getting inescapably practical, this chapter gives you a design process that fits every company and developer. You are given the keys to use this process internally and in smart communication with clients. It gives you a clean structure while protecting you from flip-flopping clients... and from yourself.

CHAPTER 3
There's a secret to software development. When you zoom in on how you develop, you will find that one particular part of the process is the key to all others. This chapter reveals it.

CHAPTER 4
"Writer's block" happens to software developers too. This incredibly practical chapter shows you how to defeat it by using a technique the author has used in the companies he has successfully founded.

CHAPTER 5
Software-design-tools have gotten stuck since the 90s. Although user-interface possibilities have ballooned, there are hardly any breakthrough tools for software designers themselves. We are trying to create new software with old tools. This chapter introduces new yet proven tools, straight from the trenches.

CHAPTER 6
Tech-balancing stands for a collection of techniques that help you focus on what you are good at, while making sure the tedious parts of your job get done too... just not by you! This closing chapter unveils the trick of becoming completely Unplugged.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 100 pages
  • Publisher: WhizzKit; Edition 1 edition (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9090241647
  • ISBN-13: 978-9090241647
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,531,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Curtis Sergeant on July 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a rare type of book these days. It has simple yet powerful concepts and it is presented in a concise but creative way. There is no fluff or padding. It has a clear approach which is focussed on practical steps to a powerful approach to software development.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fritz M. Hansen on June 12, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the book on Kindle, read it on my iPhone, and will pick up a few hard copies for colleagues. The content is fresh, and will not be out of date anytime soon, it is an enjoyable quick read.
Having been down some of the same road as the author, I found myself nodding in agreement reading about situations that I have been in, and had to work myself out of. This book would be an invaluable tool in moving a company with an entrenched IT group towards a software development life cycle that will ensure less change in development and testing, while encouraging change and creativity where it is cheap and still possible.
I do think that the four phases of development outlined are bit simplistic, and may not meet the level of scrutiny needed for auditing purposes, depending on your client and or corporate structure. The methodology does however overlap with all typical phases of development, and could be used for small to medium sized projects as described. Certainly they would be great places to start for organizations that have not focused on user centered design, or struggle with development snarls in the present

Five stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Astrid on July 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Unplugged does not only have a fresh lay-out in which clear images illustrate the text, the book itself is also written in a conversational style. Ruven Meulenberg clearly shows vision in this work, in which he addresses developers in a no-nonsense yet knowledgeable way. Building on the four phases of development explained at the beginning of the work, the book goes on to introduce ways in which developers can use their creativity in full while saving money and time.

I was very much impressed with the techniques that Meulenberg shares, all of which are lucidly explained and illustrated with clear examples.

The Unplugged truly takes thinking out-of-the-box to the next level.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Busby on July 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Excellent guide to thinking critically and creatively about the technology development process. A must have for any developer's process library (along with books on scrum, agile, and waterfall project management) . I am using these techniques with scrum and continuous integration for both Microsoft .NET / C# and open source PHP/MySQL projects. I wish the CMMI world would use some of these concepts, it would save them a LOT of time and resources on large software projects.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first half of this book has some genuine tips about reworking your software design workflow. The second half, however, is a basically an advertisement for the author's products, the GuiMags. I'm not interested in paying to be advertised to, thank you very much.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
They lay down some obvious truths, then they come up with some good suggestions. Its a short book, with not much to it, but I recommend it as long as you don't mind their marketing babble too much.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Wilbur on September 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Despite its clever packaging, The Unplugged is not a book; it's a philosophy.

If you have anything to do with software, web, mobile app or other electronic development (and I will suggest any product development), you need to read The Unplugged. It's a crash course in developing products efficiently, effectively, with great client and user satisfaction - in other words, successfully.

Ideas are presented in both words and visuals that stop and cause you to question what you may have always accepted. Ultimately practical counsel tells you how to get past stumbling blocks. All shared from a user-centric foundation that ensures your concepts are embraced by the end-user.

The Unplugged will make you rethink your approaches. You'll find yourself remembering previous projects and envisioning how much better they would have turned out if you had known to use these techniques.

I loved this book. Wished we had it years ago. We'd have saved much grief.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Birle on September 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Unplugged has accomplished a challenging task by providing an ingenious outlook on making "standard" procedures change from habitual to rational. His outside-the-box way of thinking provides the tools for transforming companies or organizations by allowing a string of changes to unleash creativity while still being cost-effective. By breaking down this method into simplified steps and memorable diagrams, The Unplugged will help developers to amend their thought process in a way that won't just fill them with new hope, but will also reignite the innovative minds inside them. These honest and inventive concepts simultaneously keep consumers and profits at the forefront with a universality that allows this method to be applied to other fields as well. I highly recommend this quick read to anyone interested in a blueprint for reaching their full potential both personally and for their company or organization.
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