I’ve just finished reading Peopleware by DeMarco and Lister. This book was written in 1987 and I should have read it a long time ago. Nonetheless, I’m glad I’ve read it now, since it gives a lot of perspective on how (and why) the world of software development engineering has evolved over the past 25 years and where we still struggle to make any significant improvement.

Our field has made enormous progress in last two decades, but not as it was hoped for in the 1980s, by bringing software engineering closer to civil and mechanical engineering. On the contrary, we could make any significant progress only by accepting a simple truth that the process of software development cannot be defined, at best it could only be controlled.

DeMarco and Lister were among the first to anticipate the rise of Betas, stressed importance of people for the success of software development endeavors, and explained how difficult it is to cultivate a productive team. If you’re serious about understanding software development management, you definitely should read this book.

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