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A Practical Guide to Feature-Driven Development
A Practical Guide to Feature-Driven Development
by Stephen R. Palmer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $36.66
56 used & new from $1.12

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with good advice on Software Development Process!, April 28, 2002
Feature Driven Development is a lightweight iterative software development process promoted by TogetherSoft that occupies the middle ground between heavyweight, high ceremony processes like RUP and lightweight programming-focused processes such as Extreme Programming.
This book is packed with good advice for developers and those involved in managing software development, and is clearly written by people with real world experience. The authors do a good job of explaining the issues in software development and how FDD helps address them.
The book is highly readable and should be accessible to those who currently have a limited understanding of formal software development processes. One of the themes carried through the book is an ongoing dialogue between the two authors and several other persons, including the project manager of a software project for a car dealership that is worked through in the book. At first I found this dialogue distracting, I guess because they were initially dealing with material I am already familiar with, but by the end of the book, I looked forward to these sections, and felt they gave the book an overall coherence.
FDD is most radical, in its approach to management (reporting), by dispensing with Gannt charts and estimates of task completeness (most people are aware of the 90% complete, 90% of the time, syndrome), replacing them with measuring features complete (as in 100% complete!) as a percentage of all features to be built. I am familiar with why Gannt charts and Microsoft Project style planning doesn't work for software projects, but the book would have benefited from a more detailed discussion of what will be the hardest part of FDD for many to accept. The book's only real fault is several digressions into software quality and online help, that it was hard to see the relevance of.
I recommend this book to people, including managers, who want to understand why we need software development processes and the issues involved in selecting one. The book, naturally enough, points out the issues with widely used processes such as RUP - too heavyweight, and XP - questionable scalability, and these criticisms are IMO largely valid. The book explains in a straightforward way, how FDD works and how it satisfies all the main requirements of a development process, especially scalability, manageability and getting the domain model (shape) right as early as possible, minimizing the need to refactor later.


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