REVIEW - Mission-critical Java Project Management - Business Strategies, Applications, and Development


Mission-critical Java Project Management

Business Strategies, Applications, and Development


Gregory C. Dennis, James R. Rubin



Addison-Wesley Longman (1999)




Burkhard Kloss


April 2000



The main problem I have with this book is that its title is completely wrong - 'Making the Business Case for Transitioning to Java Development' would be far more appropriate (No, I do not believe that 'Transitioning' is a proper English word, but it fits the book). The book is not aimed at project managers, but at senior managers trying to decide whether Java is an appropriate technology.

With this misunderstanding resolved, the book becomes more palatable. It is a high-level overview of the issues that enterprises should consider before making Java a strategic platform. The authors have a background in consultancy and this is quite apparent in the structure of the book: The cases studied are nicely supportive of their arguments, the book is accessible and key points are summarised nicely.

Disregarding the problems with the title, I am unhappy with two facets of this book. For one, it needlessly--and pointlessly--switches levels between the senior management and basic coding levels: Is the fact that a C or C++ compiler will merely warn you if you assign in a conditional--i.e. 'if (i = 0)' rather than 'if (i == 0)'--really relevant to a manager (or, indeed, at all)?

There are quite a few examples of this style scattered throughout the book, which alone would lead me to reserve my recommendation. More importantly, I think the authors are far too uncritical of the Java technology and are pushing the bandwagon rather than using the opportunity to give a realistic and balanced appraisal of the different technologies.

Unless you are trying to convince your management to use Java, I'm afraid that I can't see what this book would offer you. If you were trying to evaluate competing technologies, it would present the arguments for Java, but needs to be tempered with a more neutral evaluation.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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