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Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just About Great Software - It's About Doing Great Work, September 11, 2012
This review is from: Shipping Greatness: Practical lessons on building and launching outstanding software, learned on the job at Google and Amazon (Kindle Edition)
In the interest of Federal Trade Commission guidelines and covering my legal bases, I got this book free of charge via my involvement in the O'Reilly Media Blogger Review Program. That said, this review is entirely my opinion, after my reading of the book. I would also like to assure everyone that I was not paid to give any particular rating to the work, and that my rating is my personal choice.

Now let's get to the good stuff, which is the review itself.

If a university ever decided to teach a course on shipping great software, I enthusiastically nominate Chris Vander Mey for professor. After all, this book is practically a course already, with the added benefit of being speedy and concise.

Within its pages, you'll find not just the attitudes you need to build and launch outstanding software, but also the specific frameworks, along with the things you need to get done at each stage. It will also arm you with a load of examples for your benefit, including some cases from Vander Mey's own work at Amazon and Google.

More than that, Chris will be with you every step of the way, from the moment you begin to define the right product, all the way to dealing with crises during launch. At each stage of the process, he'll first show you the scaffolding you need to get in place, and then end strong by teaching you how to turn good to great.

In terms of the writing style, the attention to detail is sure to appeal to the analytic techies out there. Even if you're a veteran at the process, this book still has enough substance to make you feel at home. Even so, the simplicity of presentation will surely resound with anyone at any level.

Nowhere did the author cram the book with too much jargon, so even the newbies will find themselves comfortable. And yes, I can say that with confidence, because I write fiction and essays. Even with my background, I still found this book perfectly understandable.

In fact, I even spent three days getting to know software engineering, just because I wanted to deepen my knowledge. What can I say? The book got me motivated to learn more.

For me, that ability to arouse curiosity is what matters above all. While Shipping Greatness may appeal most to those in the tech field, the lessons and attitudes it imparts are relevant to people in all professions.

After all, this may be a book about shipping great software, but it's also a book about doing great work.
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