The Limits Of Software: People, Projects, And Perspectives

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The author knows whereof he speaks. His material is sound, up-to-date, and appropriate. Robert N. Britcher has inside knowledge on one of the most dramatic software stories of our time. --Robert L. Glass President, Computing Trends What really goes on inside the world of software development? How do straightforward projects with well-defined goals mutate into large-scale disasters? How do personalities, ambitions, work environments, and time and cost limitations impact the creation of software? In a book that is both personal and technical, Robert N. Britcher brings to life the culture and infrastructure of software development. Combining history, characters, dialogue, memoirs, and technical information, he describes software development's evolution from the early systems of the 1960s and 1970s to today's high expectations for technical achievement, timeliness, and profit. Using the FAA's Advanced Automation System--one of the largest and most spectacular computing failures in the history of the field--as a backdrop, the author draws on his first-hand experiences to illuminate the reasons why software projects succeed or fail. He examines theories of programming, the process of design, and the methods by which code is written and tested. In addition, Britcher discusses the human element, decrying the impossible profession and describing the daily experiences of life on the project. Looking at the current software development environment, The Limits of Software explores how technology changes methods and how today's market demands affect software development. The book also examines the many forces behind the current push for the development of the one great system. In this extraordinary book, Britcher offers a long-standing insider's perspective on the past and present of the computer industry, complete with its many foibles and achievements. He looks to the future with both optimism and trepidation, hoping that the industry can accomplish real gains while reaching for worthwhile goals. 0201433230B04062001

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