473,562 Members | 2,759 Online
Bytes | Software Development & Data Engineering Community
+ Post

Home Posts Topics Members FAQ

Timeless Classics of Software Engineering

I'd like to hear thoughts on what books, in your opinion, are true
classics in the field of software engineering. I read a lot on the
topic - at least a book a month for many years. There are many good
authors, however, the only book on making software that is truly
timeless, in my opinion, is "Mythical Man Month" by Brooks. It never
ceases to amaze me that something written over 20 years ago would be
so relevant.

It seems like Brooks achieved this by focusing on what is the essence
of software engineering, which is comprised of:

A) building models of reality.
B) the people who tend to like building models of reality, what they
are like, and what makes them work together effectively.

Many books focus excessively on a particular language, a specific
domain, on project management, Gantt charts etc and miss the forest
for the trees.

Note that I'm specifically looking for books on making software, on
Software Engineering as a craft as opposed for classic books on
computer science (e.g. Knuth) which is a completely different category
in my mind.

Are there any other books like MMM that you can think of where every
page is packed with insight where it seems not a single word is in
vain?
I'd be grateful for your suggestions. There must be at least a couple
out there.

Thanks!

- Steve
Jul 22 '05 #1
102 6573
"Steve Johnson" <st************ **@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:94******** *************** ***@posting.goo gle.com...
I'd like to hear thoughts on what books, in your opinion, are true
classics in the field of software engineering.

I can't vouch for it myself, but I hear a lot of people mention
"Code Complete" by Steve McConnell.
Marshall
Jul 22 '05 #2

"Steve Johnson" <st************ **@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:94******** *************** ***@posting.goo gle.com...
I'd like to hear thoughts on what books, in your opinion, are true
classics in the field of software engineering. I read a lot on the
topic - at least a book a month for many years. There are many good
authors, however, the only book on making software that is truly
timeless, in my opinion, is "Mythical Man Month" by Brooks. It never
ceases to amaze me that something written over 20 years ago would be
so relevant.

It seems like Brooks achieved this by focusing on what is the essence
of software engineering, which is comprised of:

A) building models of reality.
B) the people who tend to like building models of reality, what they
are like, and what makes them work together effectively.

Many books focus excessively on a particular language, a specific
domain, on project management, Gantt charts etc and miss the forest
for the trees.

Note that I'm specifically looking for books on making software, on
Software Engineering as a craft as opposed for classic books on
computer science (e.g. Knuth) which is a completely different category
in my mind.

Are there any other books like MMM that you can think of where every
page is packed with insight where it seems not a single word is in
vain?
I'd be grateful for your suggestions. There must be at least a couple
out there.


I would suggest Programming Pearls by Jon Bentley. It is one of those books
that is actually fun to read as it is so packed with insights that you
frequently find yourself having that Aha! experience.

--
- Stephen Fuld
e-mail address disguised to prevent spam
Jul 22 '05 #3
"Marshall Spight" <ms*****@dnai.c om> escreveu na mensagem
news:epPNc.1770 55$IQ4.107932@a ttbi_s02...
"Steve Johnson" <st************ **@yahoo.com> wrote in message

news:94******** *************** ***@posting.goo gle.com...
I'd like to hear thoughts on what books, in your opinion, are true
classics in the field of software engineering.


I can't vouch for it myself, but I hear a lot of people mention
"Code Complete" by Steve McConnell.


I also vote for "Code Complete". It is a remarkable (although excessively
lenghy) work. If you don't want to face its 850+ pages, there's a smaller
alternative:

Maguire, Steve (1993) Writing Solid Code. Microsoft Press.

These two books are classics by any definition (and both were written
by "Steves" and published by Microsoft Press).

Sergio Navega.
Jul 22 '05 #4
On 28 Jul 2004 08:04:43 -0700, st************* *@yahoo.com (Steve
Johnson) wrote:
I'd like to hear thoughts on what books, in your opinion, are true
classics in the field of software engineering. I read a lot on the
topic - at least a book a month for many years. There are many good
authors, however, the only book on making software that is truly
timeless, in my opinion, is "Mythical Man Month" by Brooks. It never
ceases to amaze me that something written over 20 years ago would be
so relevant.
Copyright 1972 by Brooks, 1975 by Addison-Wesley, to be exact.
Note that I'm specifically looking for books on making software, on
Software Engineering as a craft as opposed for classic books on
computer science (e.g. Knuth) which is a completely different category
in my mind.

Are there any other books like MMM that you can think of where every
page is packed with insight where it seems not a single word is in
vain?
I'd be grateful for your suggestions. There must be at least a couple
out there.


The only book that *concise* I can think of is Kernigan and Ritchie,
"The C Programming Language", but maybe it's too techie for your
category.

Kernigan and Plauger, "Elements of Programming Style", never quite did
it for me, but others might name it.

Booch's old "Object Oriented Design" had some status for a while.

I like Gerald Weinberg's stuff, esp the "Quality Software Management"
series, but it's not as tight as Brooks.

No, I was having this same thought just the other day, that Brooks'
little book is pretty much in a class by itself, sort of the Tao te
Ching of software.

I've never actually read "Code Complete", but some of the kids seem to
like it.

And I guess GoF's "Design Patterns" is too techie for you?

J.
Jul 22 '05 #5
JXStern (JX************ **@gte.net) wrote:
: On 28 Jul 2004 08:04:43 -0700, st************* *@yahoo.com (Steve
: Johnson) wrote:
: >I'd like to hear thoughts on what books, in your opinion, are true
: >classics in the field of software engineering. I read a lot on the
: >topic - at least a book a month for many years. There are many good
: >authors, however, the only book on making software that is truly
: >timeless, in my opinion, is "Mythical Man Month" by Brooks. It never
: >ceases to amaze me that something written over 20 years ago would be
: >so relevant.
:
: Copyright 1972 by Brooks, 1975 by Addison-Wesley, to be exact.
:

There's a later edition, 1995:

20th Anniversary Edition With Four New Chapters

ISBN 0-201-83595-9
--Jerry Leslie
Note: le****@jrlvax.h ouston.rr.com is invalid for email
Jul 22 '05 #6
Two easy ones:

Design Patterns - Gamma et al.
Refactoring - Fowler

Here's an unusual one:

How to Write a Useable User Manual - Weiss

Steve Johnson wrote:
I'd like to hear thoughts on what books, in your opinion, are true
classics in the field of software engineering.

Jul 22 '05 #7

"Steve Johnson" <st************ **@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:94******** *************** ***@posting.goo gle.com...
I'd like to hear thoughts on what books, in your opinion, are true
classics in the field of software engineering.


Not an SE book, but a great business book with useful
information for SEs:

"Leadership And Self-Deception", by the Arbinger Institute.

Jul 22 '05 #8

Take a look at Glenford Myers, the Art of software Testing....

dave
"Steve Johnson" <st************ **@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:94******** *************** ***@posting.goo gle.com...
I'd like to hear thoughts on what books, in your opinion, are true
classics in the field of software engineering. I read a lot on the
topic - at least a book a month for many years. There are many good
authors, however, the only book on making software that is truly
timeless, in my opinion, is "Mythical Man Month" by Brooks. It never
ceases to amaze me that something written over 20 years ago would be
so relevant.

It seems like Brooks achieved this by focusing on what is the essence
of software engineering, which is comprised of:

A) building models of reality.
B) the people who tend to like building models of reality, what they
are like, and what makes them work together effectively.

Many books focus excessively on a particular language, a specific
domain, on project management, Gantt charts etc and miss the forest
for the trees.

Note that I'm specifically looking for books on making software, on
Software Engineering as a craft as opposed for classic books on
computer science (e.g. Knuth) which is a completely different category
in my mind.

Are there any other books like MMM that you can think of where every
page is packed with insight where it seems not a single word is in
vain?
I'd be grateful for your suggestions. There must be at least a couple
out there.

Thanks!

- Steve

Jul 22 '05 #9
"Marshall Spight" <ms*****@dnai.c om> wrote in message
news:epPNc.1770 55$IQ4.107932@a ttbi_s02...
I can't vouch for it myself, but I hear a lot of people mention
"Code Complete" by Steve McConnell.


Steve's "Debugging the Development process" ain't too shabby, either, and
it's a lot shorter.

...
Jul 22 '05 #10

This thread has been closed and replies have been disabled. Please start a new discussion.

Similar topics

3
1718
by: Kmt79 | last post by:
I am working on my bachelor's degree in computer science and need a project proposal for software engineering. It needs to be something that can be done in a short amount of time, specially 2 months. Any ideas would be appreciated!
0
7577
by: Hystou | last post by:
Most computers default to English, but sometimes we require a different language, especially when relocating. Forgot to request a specific language before your computer shipped? No problem! You can effortlessly switch the default language on Windows 10 without reinstalling. I'll walk you through it. First, let's disable language...
0
7869
Oralloy
by: Oralloy | last post by:
Hello folks, I am unable to find appropriate documentation on the type promotion of bit-fields when using the generalised comparison operator "<=>". The problem is that using the GNU compilers, it seems that the internal comparison operator "<=>" tries to promote arguments from unsigned to signed. This is as boiled down as I can make it. ...
1
7627
by: Hystou | last post by:
Overview: Windows 11 and 10 have less user interface control over operating system update behaviour than previous versions of Windows. In Windows 11 and 10, there is no way to turn off the Windows Update option using the Control Panel or Settings app; it automatically checks for updates and installs any it finds, whether you like it or not. For...
0
6221
agi2029
by: agi2029 | last post by:
Let's talk about the concept of autonomous AI software engineers and no-code agents. These AIs are designed to manage the entire lifecycle of a software development project—planning, coding, testing, and deployment—without human intervention. Imagine an AI that can take a project description, break it down, write the code, debug it, and then...
0
5193
by: conductexam | last post by:
I have .net C# application in which I am extracting data from word file and save it in database particularly. To store word all data as it is I am converting the whole word file firstly in HTML and then checking html paragraph one by one. At the time of converting from word file to html my equations which are in the word document file was convert...
0
3623
by: TSSRALBI | last post by:
Hello I'm a network technician in training and I need your help. I am currently learning how to create and manage the different types of VPNs and I have a question about LAN-to-LAN VPNs. The last exercise I practiced was to create a LAN-to-LAN VPN between two Pfsense firewalls, by using IPSEC protocols. I succeeded, with both firewalls in...
0
3608
by: adsilva | last post by:
A Windows Forms form does not have the event Unload, like VB6. What one acts like?
1
1191
muto222
by: muto222 | last post by:
How can i add a mobile payment intergratation into php mysql website.
0
903
bsmnconsultancy
by: bsmnconsultancy | last post by:
In today's digital era, a well-designed website is crucial for businesses looking to succeed. Whether you're a small business owner or a large corporation in Toronto, having a strong online presence can significantly impact your brand's success. BSMN Consultancy, a leader in Website Development in Toronto offers valuable insights into creating...

By using Bytes.com and it's services, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

To disable or enable advertisements and analytics tracking please visit the manage ads & tracking page.