- Series: Agile Software Development Series
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (December 20, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321554132
- ISBN-13: 978-0321554130
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,950,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Managing Software Debt: Building for Inevitable Change (Agile Software Development Series) 1st Edition
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“If you work in technology, you’re probably familiar with terms like ‘technical debt.’ The metaphor seems easy, but using it to influence change can be remarkably hard. To do that, you’re going to want to present options to decision makers, backed up by evidence. I’ve been impressed watching Chris Sterling research and refine his work in just this area for several years, and I’m pleased to see him release it as a book. If you want to go beyond clichés to talk about how to deal with the problem of software debt, this is the seminal work in the field—and it’s also the book for you.”
—Matthew Heusser, Software Process Naturalist
“Inertia: It’s what restricts change and leads to a cost of making a change or starting a change after a period of no investment or maintenance. This book explains in great detail what the different types of debt are that lead to inertia and, ultimately, to a cost to the business in managing software maintenance and development. The richness of explanation in this book of how to manage the virtual debt that every business incurs is unmatched. Every business-focused CIO, enterprise architect, software architect, or project manager should have a copy.”
—Colin Renouf, Enterprise Architect
“Software debt is an important concept and Sterling does a sterling job of explaining what it is, why it is bad, and how to avoid it. A healthy dose of theory sprinkled with lots of pragmatic examples.”
—Roger Sessions, CTO, ObjectWatch (objectwatch.com)
“Chris Sterling’s experience in Agile architecture and his focus on software debt make this book a must-read for architects and engineers on Agile teams.”
—Jan Bosch, VP Engineering Process, Intuit
“This book offers highlights and shortcomings of managing inherited software code and the debts that come with quality software. The author offers a unique perspective on dealing with software development issues. A must-read for all software developers.”
—Leyna Cotran, Institute for Software Research, University of California, Irvine
“The vital importance of rapid feedback to the software process is a fundamental premise of modern software methods. When such feedback is quantified in the form of software debt, the software process becomes most effective. Chris Sterling’s book holds the details you need to know in order to quantify the debt and pay it back. Moreover, it will teach you how to avoid debt in the first place.”
—Israel Gat, The Agile Executive (theagileexecutive.com and on Twitter at @agile_exec)
“This book represents a wonderful opportunity for a larger community to take advantage of Chris’s many years of experience and his innovative approaches to Agile architecture and continuous quality. . . . His book distills many of his principles and techniques into practical guidelines, and he manages to convey very powerful ideas in accessible prose, despite the inherent complexity of architecture and technical debt. . . . Chris’s book will help architects, leaders, and teams see their way to better systems and better organizational performance.”
—Evan Campbell, Founder of Chinook Software Consulting
About the Author
Chris Sterling, Partner at Sterling Barton, LLC, works with widely diverse clients as a technology, management, and Agile consultant. A Certified Scrum Trainer and Innovation Games Facilitator, he has created—and continues contributing to—multiple open source projects. He has been a speaker at many conferences and events, including Agile conferences, Better Software, SD West, Scrum Gatherings, and PNSQC. He teaches the Advanced Topics in Agile Software Development course for the University of Washington’s Agile Developer Certificate extension program.
Top customer reviews
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From a superficial level, I found this book easy to read, and simple to understand. The book is intended for anyone in the software industry, though managers will definitely get more out of it. Despite the textbook look and feel, it's not overly technical. My only complaint is that I wish it were more affordable. If it were, I'd buy a copy for my boss... and his boss too!
1. Is looking for the way forward with software product development using Agile methodology.
2. Wants to build robust yet flexible software.
3. Has a focus on long haul software product development
I especially like the aspects of technology debt which have been explained very well.
This is the future of software product development as I see it.
The descriptions of how debt creeps into the process was excellent.
My five favorite parts were:
"abuse stories" (anti-use cases)
the last chapter - people aren't resources and why this matters along with styles of teams
the word "done" repeatedly being in quotes and an exercise on how to create a definition
the cost of someone else paying the cost of your poor decisions
why silos create debt
I made lots of highlights and was engaged as I read. I didn't make notes in the book because some would be less than favorable to someone who could pick it up. It definitely hit home though.
I would have liked some more tips on how to deal with debt and how to prevent it. The book was certainly thought provoking and raised my awareness of debt in day to day work.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.
As its title suggests, this book goes even further than the concept of technical debt as it try to cover all dimensions of software development debt. My favorite chapter comes at the end where the notion of experience debt is explored. I have witnessed many projects where the technical or product knowledge was concentrated on fewer and fewer people, due to change in project team composition, effectively making them the bottlenecks where all application evolutions had to be processed. We sometimes create more debt in the heads than in the code.
The book is well written and easy to read. Every chapter begins with a mindmap of the topic that will be explored, thus giving a big picture of its content. The material mixes high level definitions with practical examples and real life stories. A summary is proposed at the end of each chapter
At every stage of the software development life cycle, we make decisions that have long term consequences. This book provides meaningful insights on how to prevent creating too much debt and how to reduce the existing burden. I will recommend it to everybody who is concerned with software quality with a longer view than the end of the next iteration.
I have recently read the book "Managing Software Debt" by Chris Sterling and must say I am quite impressed. The author does a fantastic job explaining the subject and provides a lot of guidance on how to deal with the issue. If you want to talk about ROI, this book is so packed with ideas and inspiration, it should cost thousands. The author maintains an open mind throughout the book, and by reading this, you do too.
The author addresses software debt at many levels, more than I knew existed. This book is part of the Agile Software Development Series, but I think this is a core book everyone involved in a software project should read (chickens and pigs). I am surprised to see so few books on the topic, but this book is so well put together, I don't know if other books are needed.
Buy it, read it, follow it.