- File Size: 1063 KB
- Print Length: 145 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Technicat LLC; 1 edition (January 20, 2012)
- Publication Date: January 20, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00703SOLC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,501,354 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Technicat on Software Kindle Edition
|Length: 145 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
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I am a beginner wanting to get into the video game industry--I have a million questions about getting a job in programming, what the job is like, and what it takes to efficiently create a quality product. In these articles, Phil addresses this and more.
All the articles were interesting, but the ones that struck me the most were on better programming habits and how to be a better team member/manager. Also, the final article on console game production was very insightful.
It was pretty easy to understand for a layman like me. While Phil occasionally throws in some technical jargon, he explains most of it. I was able to easily google any unfamiliar acronyms, which I only had to do twice.
No nonsense. No wasted words. I literally stopped to think and reflect after every other paragraph, just to let it sink in and think critically. Sure, I could've skimmed it... But that would not be making the most out of the articles. It's a short read, and packed with content. Why rush it?
I will be keeping this on my droid and re-reading it to remain conscientious about my aspiring profession, for better programming habits and team building.
He takes on and takes down a lot of the current practices in vogue today: user surveys, pair programming, Agile ("Process isn't something you trumpet..."), and most ideas for team building ("Here's an idea for a team-building exercise: finish the project."). I applaud his stance, especially because it comes from a key truth that I share with him: "Coding is not inherently a team sport."
He reflects on the low-level details ("...the fate of your company could depend on the ability to make a clean build.") and the high-level ("Yes, being the boss is hard. But no one cares."). Along the way he dispenses clear and practical advice. Example: "Don't take a new job unless it offers at least two distinct things that appeal to you". He also provides guidance on getting through projects. Example: "There will always be at least one point in the project where it seems like things are going better than expected. It's not."
On scheduling projects, Phil wrote that it's not useful "to schedule tasks to a granularity smaller than a week." I remember getting similar advice from my green days in consulting. I was giving estimates that were in the 30 minute range, creating lots of microscopic tasks. The architect told me "don't schedule anything less than half a day." Phil says "don't let your micro-schedule drive your macro-schedule". It was a familiar reminder.
The book argues for placing the highest value on the programmer who can deliver. "I'll take professionalism over passion any day," he writes, and the words rang true with me. He recognizes that everyone has their own pace, and their own style. He recognizes that a project needs all kinds of people. But most of all, he recognizes that the best programmers "are the ones that can get the project done."
Software development is not yet an engineering discipline, but it takes a certain discipline to get software delivered. With over twenty years of experience working and managing the software development "process", he's certainly someone who's learned the hard lessons of wrangling programmers. For anyone who has delivered code, or wants to deliver code, or wants to know what it is like to deliver code, I highly recommend it.