Friday, May 11, 2012

Writing a new book about software development!

Following a respectable interval of time after the launch of the official Enterprise Architect study guide (which was absolutely necessary to allow painful memories of the writing and editing process to fade :-) ), I've teamed up with my editor from that book - Greg Doench  from Pearson on a new book about software development. I can't believe that Greg is signing up for round two with me, and am grateful to have him on board again!

The central premise of this new book stems from an observation that I have seen time and time again - a lot of smart people in business that I work with just don't get software at any kind of meaningful level - the coders who program it, their unique culture, the actual process of designing and writing software, and most importantly - why things (inevitably) go wrong and how to fix them when they do (and for "wrong", you can substitute any value of "late", "over-budget" or "doesn't do what it should" or all three that floats your boat).

This disconnect would be ok if it weren't for the fact that these same smart business people almost always end up in a position where software projects are a key part of what they need to achieve - they become customers, or key stakeholders. If they rise high enough, they become actual budget holders - then it gets interesting! Simply put, it's rapidly becoming a career-limiting move in business to say that "I'm not technical". And motivated business people who want to become conversant with their software projects are finding a gap in readable, digestible content that helps them to bridge their gap in understanding. That's where this book comes in.

The book structure itself is pretty new - although the chapters are designed to be read together (although not in a regimented order), Greg is encouraging me to write the chapters so that they will also read "standalone". There's a strong chance then that individual chapters will be available well before the book is scheduled to complete in Q2 of 2013.

What the book is:

* A guide to software development for people who are not technical by background and want to learn
* A map to navigate a software project by - regardless of programming language used or target application
* A guide that should stand the test of time - it's not about buzzwords, it's about the core building blocks that make up software projects

What the book isn't:

* An idiot's guide to software development - you will be stretched intellectually by the content we're planning to put into the book
* A technology-specific guide - I'll be consciously writing the book with a view to covering all technologies, and concrete examples will be provided across the spectrum of commonly-used programming languages

Time to start writing!

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