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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
UML Explained
Author:
Kendall Scott
ISBN:
0 201 72182 1
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
150pp
Price:
£22.99
Reviewer:
Francis Glassborow
Subject:
modelling languages; object oriented
Appeared in:
13-3
Of course if you are a professional programmer you are already familiar with the UML, but what book do you recommend when asked by someone who just wants to get an idea about what it is, just enough to decide if they should learn more?

Until now that has been a tough one. Most of us lack the time to read weighty tomes on subjects that might be of interest, and we frequently lack the background to make sense of the standard works even if we are willing to put in time in study.

The purpose of this book is to address such readers. The author tries (but not always as successfully as he thinks) to make few assumptions about the background of the reader. I think you do need to have some understanding of programming fundamentals and at least an implicit understanding of object oriented design. The later does not need to be in depth but some is essential else you will continually be wondering what all this is for.

I think the ideal reader of this book is the person who has 'done a bit of programming' but does not program professionally (well, unfortunately many people who only do a 'bit' get paid for the results and think of themselves as professional programmers).

I found this to be an informative tidily written book. Those with less technical background will have to take their time gently digesting the information because there is a deceptively high density of information per page. The expert might not notice it, but those who the author describes on the back cover as non-technical professionals who need to understand software development activities in the workplace will find that the simple language and low word count per page hides a substantial demand on their attention and intellect.

Reading this book will not make you a competent user of UML, but it will help you understand what UML means and why good software developers use it.