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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:
Patterns of Software Systems Failure and Success
Author:
Capers Jones
ISBN:
1 850 32804 8
Publisher:
ITP
Pages:
292pp
Price:
£37-00
Reviewer:
Derek Graham
Subject:
patterns; management; writing solid code
Appeared in:
10-4
This book is a fairly comprehensive survey of the issues contributing to the success or failure of a software project. It is based on the author's experience as a software project management consultant.

The early chapters deal with the major risk factors present in a software project (e.g. project estimation and planning, management, quality control, etc.) and provide a good deal of statistical evidence. There follows a survey of the strengths and weaknesses of six radically different software development environments and their varying requirements.

The last three chapters concentrate on methods of improving project management and the effective recruitment and training of technical staff.

At under 300 pages, the book is a relatively easy read despite the numerous tables of statistical data which are used to support each issue. In fact, although many of the reasons for success or failure and the suggestions offered will be self-evident to most developers (I hope), this data may be just what you need to convince your manager to improve development practices within your organisation.