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Wicked Problems, Righteous Solutions: A Catologue of Modern Engineering Paradigms 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I guess the essence of the book is that waterfall is a bad idea, there are good reasons for why it is a bad idea and there are alternative (ideas) that are worth considering that prevent that idea.
The first two and the last (9) chapters cover the old discussion about is software development a science, is it engineering, or is it an art? What does being a professional mean in software development. It is amusing how relevant these questions still are in 2011, though the definition of what a craftsman is and does has definitively evolved over the many years.
Chapter 3 and 4 (nearly half of the book) discuss the waterfall method, its history, the variants and also the many reasons why it doesn't and cannot work. One of the main reasons, the authors argue, is that software development is a "wicked problem" which is defined as "you know what system to build only after you build it." In other words, the world changes and both the developers and customers/users of the system constantly learn and therefore you cannot define the whole solution in the beginning but need to actually build something in order to gradually learn. Of course, much of these ideas have been taken years later in the agile development space and new ways of working were created to deal with that (of which there are some origins in this book).
Chapter 5-8 discuss different alternatives to waterfall development.Read more ›
Authors, please publish an updated version including more recent methods like extreme programming!
Finally several other methods of software development are discussed such as: "video / hollywood", "clean room", "scrum", and "sashimi". Overall the writing style was fluid and very easy to read however the content is somewhat dated when compared to the newer texts on agile methodologies. If you are committed to using the waterfall method or a variant then this book provides sound advice and good references.
Give a copy to your favorite school teacher or city government official -- with the obvious caveat of course.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is written reasonably well, but the information really is out of date. I was hoping for something which was still helpful, and while some of it is useful, software has moved... Read morePublished on November 13, 2013 by Christopher Unger
This book is a great foundation for those seeking to understand why waterfall methods don't work for this kinds of problems that today's software projects often set out to solve. Read morePublished on December 23, 2007 by Steve Berczuk
As a software engineer, our profession is often faced with tackling business problems that are unique and do not fit with a particular way to solve the problem. Read morePublished on September 23, 2005 by Amazon Customer
I think this book has a point that another book doesn't have. But, simply put, I feel difficult to understand the point.
Unfortunately, this book is too old. Read more