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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1949 reviews in the database and more every month.
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12 Essential Skills for Software Architects
Dave Hendrickson
Paul Floyd
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The ‘essential skills’ that are covered in this book are soft skills: interpersonal, finances and politics. As such the material is fairly subjective, which makes it difficult to judge whether the advice is good or bad. It also means that the advice can be quite vague and general. Clearly, however, the perspective is that of someone in tune with upper management. Whilst there are sections on saying ‘no’ and handling conflict, the overall tone is more ‘alignment of vision’.

Based on my experience, I see that there is a lot of truth in what Hendricksen says. Early on he describes the ‘technical ceiling’, basically a barrier beyond which it is difficult for careers to progress without developing these soft skills. I also see that it’s a difficult act to balance. When it comes ‘relationships over correctness’, it’s a fine line to tread between being sycophantic, getting the balance right and getting into conflict.

I would have liked fewer buzzwords, and I thought that the diagrams looked a bit amateurish – perhaps the services of a graphic artist could have been called upon?

So in summary, a decent overview of business relationships within software development.