Book Review of the Month

Peopleware / Productive Projects and Teams (2nd ed)
by Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister
This is my all-time favorite software engineering book. Peopleware accurately recognizes that software engineering is about people, not technology. It looks at the many facets of human issues in the software development process, and shows why people aren't simply cogs in a software development machine.

The book spends a lot of time focusing on teams, and making you appreciate the value of teams. It is not the usual 'teams are good' BS in a generic management book. Instead it focuses on what makes a good team, and just how hard it is. For managers trying to build or run a team, this book will help you recognize the skills and techniques you need to do so successfully. It won't teach you about a development process. It will teach you how to make your development process work by getting you to recognize the value of people in software development. (But it's not just for managers, I strongly recommend this book to everyone, from the most junior engineer to the CEO.)

The book also contains large section on the office environment, and provides a lot of strong evidence as to why conventional wisdom doesn't work. I turn down jobs based on what I've learned from this section alone!

Oh yeah, this book is a little different from most books out there, it provides hard evidence based on years of research.

This book fundamentally changed my views on software engineering! (Mark A. Herschberg - bartender, April 2002)

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Chosen by Cindy Glass and Madhav Lakkapragada