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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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Creating High Performance Software Development Teams
Frank Ginac
0 13 085083 7
Prentice Hall
Ian Bolland
writing solid code; management
Appeared in:
The table of contents of this book gives the impression that it provides a complete guide to management of software development teams. The topics covered include;
  • product strategy
  • requirements analysis
  • building a team
  • company organisation
  • leadership
  • project planning and monitoring
  • software development processes.
The problem is that it attempts to cover all these topics in only 120 pages and so does not go into any depth on any of them. It feels more like a handout from a management presentation than a book; but at least if I were in a management presentation I would be able to ask questions.

It would have been better had the author concentrated on just a few of the topics and provided a more complete coverage of these. Since the book claims to be aimed at new first-level managers, particularly those transitioning from developer roles, many of the topics could have been omitted to make way for more detailed coverage of the rest. For example a new first-level manager is unlikely to be defining the product strategy, or re-organising the company, so these sections could go. One omission should certainly be rectified; there is no bibliography.

I am left with mixed feelings. The author makes a lot of the right noises and raises some interesting issues. If you were a new first-level manager, then this book would be better than nothing. However there are better books available. Two classics which have recently been reissued are

Peoplewareby DeMarco and Lister (ISBN 0 932633 43 9), andThe Psychology of Computer Programmingby Weinberg (ISBN 0 932633 42 0). I would recommend you to go for one (or both) of these.