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Zen and the Art of Systems Analysis: Meditations on Computer Systems Development Paperback – November 21, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

This book draws from the aphorisms of the East and the Rationalism of the West and brings both to bear on the challenging task of computer system design. Chapters consider the quintessence of Analysis, Design, Consulting, Business, Economics, Culture, Methodology, and Modeling. Each topic is looked at from a perspective that will give experienced or aspiring analysts a new way of looking at their jobs.

1. Choose the Middle Way.
2. Embrace Contradiction.
3. There are Many Ways to the Mountaintop.
4. You Can Answer Every Question.
5. Five Why’s will Make You Wise.
6. Everybody Knows About Chicken Feed.
7. Model the World.
8. One who has Never Erred is Dangerous.

About the Author

PATRICK McDERMOTT was a professional economist before becoming a computer programmer, and so understands Business Art and Systems Science, and connects them in his writing and teaching. He teaches seminars at Cal Berkeley Extension and runs his own consulting firm, in Oakland, specializing in training and consulting on computer technology.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (November 21, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595256791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595256792
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,147,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on June 16, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To say this book is different from any technical book I've ever read would be an understatement. The best way to describe it is to use an analogy from real life. We all have had a boss or coworker who is a born teacher and imparts their extensive experience in a reflective manner.
This book is like that person. Mr. McDermott's experience is extensive - I purchased this book based on the high regard I have for one he coauthored titled, "Workflow Modeling: Tools for Process Improvement and Application Development" ISBN 1580530214. He is also a born teacher who uses anecdotes, past experiences, analogies and other devices to impart knowledge about the most important topics in systems analysis - analysis, design, consulting, business, economics, corporate culture and models.
Each topic area contains a mixture of experience from jobs he has worked, his reflections on the key issues, published works and comments by others with whom he has worked, and clear advice. There is a thread of humor that runs through this book, but the messages he give are serious and well thought out.
As you read this book you will be drawn in by the conversational style - it's as though he is talking to and mentoring you, and much of what he says may be something you already know on a conscious or subconscious level. However, it's the presentation and the personal voice that make much of this material sound like fresh ideas. That is where the Zen comes in. A read through this book will open your eyes to subtleties of ideas that on the surface seem obvious. Certainly you will approach analysis with a fresh perspective.
If for no other reason, read this book for the pleasure of reading - you'll still come away with insights that will stay with you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is really fun to read, full of potential new tips and ideas to enhance the system analysis process. The way the author reinforced his book with Musashi Mayamoto book of five rings is excellent

Patrick has done a great job placing small wise notes in each chapters to summarize his thoughts and the chapter, for quick readers they can quickly skim those.

The only thing I hate about the book is the Title, I mean it could be ZenAnalysis or MeditAnalyst something like that but the title is so long and thats maybe why its not getting so much attention.

But a great read for developers and system analyst
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Not worth it. I was expecting a book about Systems Analysis from a unique perspective. This is really just a rambling collection of 'no-duh' concepts mixed in with poorly developed eastern philosophic analogies. It doesn't work and earns a "boo."
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2 of 27 people found the following review helpful By sr_optimus_prime on July 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Hi everyone! I think this is one of the most interesting books out there. How could the authur connect two different things together? the Zen and the computer systems analysis? Enjoy reading it!
I rate it 5 stars :-)
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Zen and the Art of Systems Analysis: Meditations on Computer Systems Development
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