Return on Software: Maximizing the Return on Your Software Investment 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
From the Back Cover
"This pioneering book highlights critical, overlooked skills needed by true software professionals."
CEO and Chief Software Engineering
"It's about time someone took this stuff seriously."
Embedded Systems Division
Mentor Graphics Corporation
Co-Author of Exploring the Role of Executable UML in Model-Driven Architecture and six other books
"Despite the fact that engineering economics is considered a core area of any engineering field, virtually no books have been written in the area of software engineering economics. Steve Tockey's Return on Software nicely fills this gaps by providing a comprehensive introduction to software engineering economics accessible both to students and to new software professionals."
Donald J. Bagert, Ph.D., P.E. Director of Software Engineering and Professor of Computer Science & Software Engineering Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
"The elements of this book are useful not only in making decisions but also in understanding why and how other people and organizations make decisions"
Shari Lawrence Pfleeger
Senior Researcher, RAND
Co-author of Security in Computing and eight other software engineering titles
"This just what the doctor ordered to help software programs solve the problem of how to introduce engineering economics and business decision-making into their curricula. The economics of software development should not only be part of any computing curriculum they are an essential element of recent accreditation and certification recommendations.
This book is an accessible and relevant text for any student of software engineering. The style is clear and straightforward and the software examples will be appealing to students and faculty alike. I can't wait to use it in class!"
Thomas B. Hilburn, Professor
Department of Computer and Software Engineering
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Is your organization maximizing the return on its investments of money, time, and personnel? Probably not, because most software professionals don't know how to consider the business aspects of their software decisions. Most don't even know that it's important to do so. Business consequences should play a critical role in all software technical choices–from choosing which projects to do, selecting software development processes, choosing algorithms and data structures, all the way to determining how much testing is enough.
Return on Software: Maximizing the Return on Your Software Investment is about making choices: software technical choices in a business context. It helps software professionals appreciate the business consequences of the decisions they make. This primer will prove a valuable reference for making the important decisions the typical software organization faces both today and down the road. Inside, you'll learn how to:
Estimate how much each proposed software technical decision will cost, and how much it will return.
Weigh the time frames for a software decision's costs and benefits against each other to reveal when there might be a more important factor than schedule.
- Attach a value to quality and produce a rational answer to the question, "How much testing is enough?"
Account for risk and uncertainty in software technical decisions, such as when considering a new technology.
Communicate your decisions in a way that speaks to the all-important bottom line.
Each chapter contains a set of self-study questions designed to help you apply the featured concepts and techniques. An enhanced online index allows you to quickly and easily search the entire text for specific topics.
About the Author
Steve Tockey is the principal consultant at Construx Software, where he consults on active development projects and teaches software requirements, design, quality, and software project management. He has been in the software industry since 1977, and has worked on applications ranging from radiation monitoring equipment to business systems to automated test equipment for commercial airliners.
- Item Weight : 2.32 pounds
- Paperback : 672 pages
- ISBN-10 : 032156149X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0321561497
- Product Dimensions : 7 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Addison-Wesley Professional; 1st Edition (August 26, 2004)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,464,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book covers some complicated topics and you will have to think and pay (more) attention in some chapters. However, it starts easily, taking a few chapters to build up to basic concepts such as the time value of money. What I really like is that the author doesn't just unload a bunch of financial calculations on us; he tells us how to make decisions based on the information these calculations can provide.
This is a wonderful book and if you are in a position where you influence the choice to do particular projects, how long a project runs, or how to manage a project then you owe it to yourself to read this book. More importantly, you owe it to your team and your organization to read this book.
I also like his book. Now, I will admit that this is no thriller where you are excited to turn the next page (though I did get a little worked up on Analytical Hierarchical Process). It is designed to be an entry level economics text for the world of software engineering. The world of computer science and software engineering needed a book like this and didn't have one. So, Steve brewed this one up.
Part one (chapters 1-9) contain the basic economic theory you would find in most basic economic books. The topics are based around making decisions to make the most money (for profit companies) or to deliver the most benefit (non-profit). The text in these sections tends to get acronym heavy and Steve had to use the equation editor to type all the fancy mathematical formulas needed for things like interest for equal-payment-series capitol recovery. If you have had a basic economics course in college you can probably skip the first part without any pain. If you haven't or had forgotten (like me), then reading them is warranted. I found Steve's prose on this very dry subject to be reasonable.
Parts two through five carry on in the same way (chapters 10 - 20). Part two in decision making in for-profit companies and part three is advanced decision making in for-profit companies. Again, if you have concepts like Minimum Attractive Rate of Return, Cash-Flow Streams, Planning Horizons, Sunk Cost & Salvage, Inflation & Purchasing Power, Depreciation, Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System, etc. then you can skip these sections. Same sort of story for part four, decisions in non-profit companies and part five, present economy.
BUT WAIT, there is part six! Estimation, risk, and uncertainty. Now here is a section that everybody should read, at least a couple of times. In my work and consulting, I find I am recommending to my clients that they read this section carefully. People building software seems to really miss these economic concepts. Steve does a very good job here in explaining how estimation, risk, and uncertainty work together (often against) on a work effort. He then provides several decision making strategies that work within the reality of uncertainty.
Part seven completes the teaching part with working with multiple-attribute decisions with a good discussion on number theory and how to rationally make comparisons. This is another section that I find most people don't understand too well and highly recommend that everybody reads this part.
There is a part eight but it is a summary and conclusion.
So, my bottom line is that some parts of the book are a must read. So parts are a could read. If you don't mind skimming the parts that you know or are not applicable for the current situation, this book should work out fine. It is also one of those books that you will actually pull off the shelf next time you are asked to lead the selection of a new Commercial Off The Self (COTS) system, choose between two competing project ideas, or just want to make a better personal finance decision.
The book covers a wide variety of techniques; more than I have ever seen discussed in one place -- even in B-School texts and non-software contexts. This book is the most comprehensive I have seen and would be a suitable textbook for cost/benefit analysis in any realm of engineering. (The only thing that makes it special to software are the examples.) The examples are clear and quite real, taken from a variety of software contexts.
Perhaps more important, this book is very well written. Novices will have no trouble following and applying the principles described. It is the clearest description of the subject matter that I have ever seen in a text book. I would rank it in the top ten of all text books for readability.
The only weakness I see in this book is that Tockey ran out of space. Unfortunately the subject matter is enormously complex and applying the principles effectively is dependent on other subject matters, like data collection and quantification, that are not explicitly covered here. I sincerely hope that Tockey or someone else provides a supporting sequel because this sort analysis is essential to making software development an engineering discipline.
Top reviews from other countries
"The average salary of software professionals today is over $150 per month..."
The book runs to 600 pages and makes the simple appear hugely complicated. Whole sections of the book are literally repeated. It is the worst waste of money I have ever encountered. Avoid.