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97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts [Kindle Edition]

Richard Monson-Haefel
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $34.99
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Book Description

In this truly unique technical book, today's leading software architects present valuable principles on key development issues that go way beyond technology. More than four dozen architects -- including Neal Ford, Michael Nygard, and Bill de hOra -- offer advice for communicating with stakeholders, eliminating complexity, empowering developers, and many more practical lessons they've learned from years of experience. Among the 97 principles in this book, you'll find useful advice such as:

  • Don't Put Your Resume Ahead of the Requirements (Nitin Borwankar)
  • Chances Are, Your Biggest Problem Isn't Technical (Mark Ramm)
  • Communication Is King; Clarity and Leadership, Its Humble Servants (Mark Richards)
  • Simplicity Before Generality, Use Before Reuse (Kevlin Henney)
  • For the End User, the Interface Is the System (Vinayak Hegde)
  • It's Never Too Early to Think About Performance (Rebecca Parsons)

To be successful as a software architect, you need to master both business and technology. This book tells you what top software architects think is important and how they approach a project. If you want to enhance your career, 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know is essential reading.

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Collective Wisdom from the Experts

About the Author

Richard Monson-Haefel , an independent software developer, coauthored all five editions of Enterprise JavaBeans and Java Message Service (all O'Reilly). He's a software architect specializing in multi-touch interfaces and a leading expert on enterprise computing. More detail on his work and writings can be found at

Product Details

  • File Size: 2235 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (February 5, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026OR30S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,067 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
120 of 124 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I want my money back July 21, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Heavy on keywords and low on actual content / value.

Imagine your Dad rings you up and says, "Be sure to go to work bright and early..." or "The early bird gets the worm" and proceeds to ramble on for 5 minutes about why that is important. We have all been through this kind of lecture. For politeness sake, you bite your tongue and zone out.

Now replace Dad with Bill Gates/ Steve Jobs/ some famous architect. However the advice being doled out is similar. eg. "Be sure to have a decent UI for every component/ blah blah blah".
How would you feel if you had to read 97 articles by famous architects / tech gurus, each 2 pages long and the entire content of the article is in the first introductory line itself. The rest is fluff.
I don't know about you, but when I am paying 20+ dollars for a book, I expect more than simple fluff.

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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money August 5, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is just an accumulation random advice collected for "free" off a blog. You will feel like you have read a bunch of fotune cookies (i.e. "The longest trip begins with a single step") on the topic of architecture. Not a single topic is explored in depth since each topic is only 2 pages in length.

I would not recommend this book.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars incoherent and useless December 25, 2009
Why does a famous (and, he has proven it, excellent) technical writer dare to compile
such a useless, incoherent and impractical amount of pseudo-advice?

His other books provided deep technical knowledge and practical help.

This one's not worth its price - there are much better books available...

alternatives: Taylor et al: Software Architecture (Foundations, Theory and Practice): Great read.
Bass et. al: Software Architecture in Practice: Great read.
Buschmann et. al: Pattern-oriented Software Architecture: Great series.
Fowler: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture: Great, highly practical...

So - don't bother with this one, go get a good book :-)
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lack of Detail July 5, 2009
I found many of the contributions interesting, but wished for more detail. Many are not much longer than a page and left me wanting.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
[97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know] is much more broad than most people would expect from its title. It's certainly true to its title, but I expected that it would have be 97 things software architects should know about software architecture. Many of the points, while good advice otherwise, aren't special to software or software architecture. They are points any manager, project leader, or executive could apply. It's really 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know, although there's already a book for that.

The first thing every software architect should know is what is expected from that job title, and I was hoping someone would at least try to define it. In reality, the title is a dumping ground for the tasks you don't give to the programmers but don't trust to the executives, and the job description varies widely.

My notion that nobody really knows what a software architect should do is reinforced by reading the advice from the many contributing experts, each of which briefly write about what they think is important. Some of that advice conflicts with other contributors, is so general so that the it would suitable in any business book, or merely shows that anyone touching a keyboard might be labelled a "software architect".

I was surprised that a lot of the advice tried to actually force the commoditization of "software architect", as if the actual person doing the job was interchangeable. An architect's experience, vision, and artistry should be at the center of the endevour. Architects are not cogs; they create and enforce the philosophy and design concept. In that regard, I actually only know a handful of software architects.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 97 Valuable Discussion Points January 12, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you buy this book expecting 97 in depth dissertations on software architecture & design, you will be disappointed. It is instead, a collection of observations on the relationships between business, people and technology. This is not a tome that one sits down and reads in a day, acquiring all of the knowledge of the collected contributors in that instant. It is instead a book, which is best read a chapter or two at a time, and discussed amongst your colleagues. Some lessons you will be able to implement immediately, some will not be of value to you ever. Many deal with issues that (as one would expect) will help to make your life easier if implemented in the planning stages of a project. The only thing I would change so far would be to change "Your Customer Is Not Your Customer" to "Your Customer Is Not Your Only Customer" or "Everyone Is A Customer".

I give it 4 stars instead of 5 because as others have noted, it is very lightweight. I do feel that this book would be suitable for most folks in technology to read, not limited to software architects. I would have no hesitation recommending this book to everyone from a Junior Systems Administrator or Project Manager all the way to a Director Of Technology.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know May 22, 2011
97 Things you already knew, but had to discover from this book. It's OK if you could rent it at your library for casual browsing. To actually buy this book would be a blunder. Like someone earlier mentioned, most of the free Blogs offer better advices and with greater illustration (not the literal type). It is so rudimentary, even a junior programmer with some common sense already knows most of the "enlightened" observations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It is an excellent book!! I loved it!
Published 4 months ago by Tiago Edgar Padilha
5.0 out of 5 stars Really like it! Perfect Condition and fast delivered!
Really like it! Perfect Condition and fast delivered!
Published 6 months ago by Marco Bartolini
3.0 out of 5 stars low on actual content but some suggestion is
low on actual content but some suggestion is valuable
Published 6 months ago by 
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book for architects
Very impressive book. For pursuing architect, It gives an expert advise. All experienced architects put their experience in this book.
Published 7 months ago by Mahavir Singh
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
It is a great book, it gives you some good ideas in what other architects think and approach common issues.
I do recommended
Published 17 months ago by Terrell Bryonyq
1.0 out of 5 stars 97 reasons not to buy this book
It's interesting but not much material for the price asked, in fact those recommendations are so general, that can apply to whatever...Thanks, next time I'll pay attention.
Published on November 18, 2012 by Almeja
3.0 out of 5 stars No hidden info here.
The book starts off outright that every piece in it is from a free article that can be found on the web. That being said, why is it $20 if all the content was free? Read more
Published on November 17, 2011 by David
1.0 out of 5 stars Heavy on keywords and low on actual content / value
I agree with the people who want thier money back and gave this book a poor rating.

There is no meat from any of the selected authors. Read more
Published on September 7, 2011 by Real Value
4.0 out of 5 stars 97 Good Reminders to any Information Technology Architect
97 things is an incredibly quick read to the seasoned IT Architect. Each chapter or "Thing" brought to me an "ah yes, I remember this one"to someone who has a few battle scars. Read more
Published on January 8, 2011 by Sharon C Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent paragraphs of wisdom and experience
Being architect by profession, I am immensely benefitted with this book. It doesnt talk about any particular technology or methodology (which is good), but instead focusses on best... Read more
Published on November 26, 2010 by Ajay Mahajan
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