Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Book Recommendation: The Nature of Software Development

Development has more than enough to keep anyone occupied on immediate concerns. But it's worth standing back in order to reflect on what it is we are doing.

The Nature of Software Development by Ron Jeffries can best be seen as an expansion on the agile manifesto. Like the manifesto, it's high level but gets right to the point. Like the manifesto, it's concise but profound. And like the manifesto, the aim is to identify what makes for successlooks like.

What we are doing when building software is trying to add value. The word can mean different things in different contexts, but in this case it is a strength rather than a weakness.

We build software because the software will serve a purpose. We should focus on delivering that which serves that purpose, and not waste time on features that are superfluous to that.

We should develop such that there will be value if the project winds up tomorrow. The code should always be ready to deploy. We should fix problems as we go along because that makes development quicker in the long run.

There's much more to the book than I'll cover here. It's a short book, and conversational in tone, and that fits with the message the cook conveys. Deliver what adds value, and don't waste time with filler that doesn't. This book is very valuable.

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