Technical Book Club: Code Complete – Measure Twice Cut Once: The Importance of Prerequisites

In answer to the question from last week’s section, according to Code Complete, software construction can account for up to 65% of the total project cost! 

One of the challenges we all face is working on a team with others.  Typically others on your team will have a different background and set of expertise than you, which is even more true when it comes to technology.  As students, you may be introduced to concepts that weren’t even around when your co-workers were in school.  Chapter 3 focuses not only on the importance of pre-requisites in the software process, but also how to influence and educate others around you about the development process. 

Steve recommend’s these key strategies for influencing your team:

  • Appeal to Logic
  • Appeal to Analogy
  • Appeal to Data

The last one is particularly useful.  As developers, we have two challenges:

1) Our first inclination isn’t to think about budgets or the cost of software development.  This is a huge decision factor, however, for managers and others who are evaluating the risk and cost associated with a software project. 

2) Let the coding begin!  We like to dive in and get coding, managers like to see coding because it looks like progress.  Everyone tends to view things ‘running’ as measurable progress.  As described in chapter 3, this phenomenon is know as WISCA or WIMP syndrome.  Why Isn’t Sam Coding Anything? Why Isn’t Mary Programming?

High quality practices and prerequisites reduce cost, risk, and frustration.  The remainder of this chapter discusses how to determine if you have established the right prerequisites for your project.

Pop Quiz from Code Complete:

Technorati Tags:  books, software, School, Microsoft