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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:
Measuring the Software Process
Author:
David Garmus&Daviod Herron
ISBN:
0 13 349002 5
Publisher:
Prentice Hall
Pages:
226pp
Price:
£27-99
Reviewer:
David Jepps
Subject:
writing solid code; management
Appeared in:
10-5
So you need to know how to tackle a Software Project. You know about quality and techniques. Do you need a better way to make estimates of how big your project is, its cost and duration? Then the Function Point Counting Methodology'(FPC) may be for you.

Because FPC is a standardised methodology - different practitioners should come up with a similar count for the same project - a project's performance can be compared with that of other projects. Indeed there is an industry support group with its own exams to ensure this standard.

FPC measures size in terms of what a project must do - its functionality.

The authors set out how, in theory, FPC can be applied to a project. The methodology is laid out in detail and several examples are given. The book sets out well the steps needed to use FPC but because you will only want to use it on important projects, you should invest time in finding out more.

You would need to investigate the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG) if you wished to go any further.

The authors acknowledge that even for a technique as (in their view) successful as FPC there is a substantial failure rate. Regretfully, they only touch on why this might be so.

Some criticisms: In some cases the authors are guilty of not using the clearest English. The book has a high proportion of the authors' books in the bibliography and details of their consultancy. I do not think that this should put you off.

FPC may help you if you manage large projects. Start with a book like this.