Bloggers love Dreaming in Code! Not all of them, of course. But enough to make me proud. Here’s some of the most enthusiastic reaction. (I’m keeping a full index of them in Delicious under the “coderesponse” tag at this page.)
One of my goals in writing the book was to create an account of the work that software developers do that was accurate and entertaining enough for programmers to hand to uncomprehending relatives and friends and say, “Here — here’s what I do all day.” Based on the comments below, for at least some readers, I succeeded. That has made my month.
From JP Rangaswami:
If you’re interested in software development, you should read the book.
From Dan Rabin at Information in Rotation:
Scott Rosenberg’s Dreaming in Code is the best journalistic portrayal of software development that I’ve ever read.
The romantic cliche of the lone introverted genius shaping masterpieces through many midnights of unfathomable incantations is mercifully absent. … We see the process as it actually is: as a highly social undertaking in which people pass through the project, and the project passes through people’s lives. The developers have families, pets, outside interests; they also have passions (often conflicting) about technology and the process of creation.
Dreaming in Code is much more than a simple chronicle: Rosenberg delves deeply into the history of software development and the frustration it causes for its participants and customers as the results never seem to improve even as the underlying hardware undergoes the most rapid progress of any technology ever.
Issues of data representation, storage, and synchronization are front and center in Dreaming in Code, all carefully explained by the author in terms that make sense to the non-practitioner while remaining recognizable to us professionals (he’s really, really good at this).
I might give this book to my mom to read.
From Titus Brown:
…a ripping good tale, and it’s definitely one of the best books on software engineering that I’ve read lately…. I can unabashedly recommend it to anyone who likes a good yarn. Yes, it’s about software development, and you’ll need a fair bit of technical exposure — not experience, just exposure — to navigate the references. But anyone who is reading this, including my not-so-technical friends, should be able to understand it, enjoy it, and even learn from it. Rosenberg’s descriptions of the projects, the people, the technical decisions, the thought processes, and above all the social component of software development are spot on…. I’m seriously thinking of trying to use it as the cornerstone of a software testing course at MSU. The problems encountered by the developers of Chandler, and the narrative that Rosenberg builds around them, could be used to neatly demonstrate step by step just how much a “test-driven” development technique can buy you.
From Reuven M. Lerner at Altneuland:
I only wish that I could make all of my non-programmer clients, friends, and family members read this book; it’s a fantastic introduction to the world of software, and why it’s so hard to do a good job of writing it. I’ve long enjoyed Rosenberg’s writing in Salon, but it was never clear to me just how well he understood the software industry. I think that he has now demonstrated a deep understanding of the difficulties that programmers and technical managers face. In particular, he understands that despite many different languages and methods software engineers have created over the years, it’s still slow, difficult, and expensive to write high-quality software…. I’m delighted that Scott Rosenberg has written such a wonderful book, and hope that many people will have a better understanding of the software industry as a result.
From Kevin at LeanLeft:
Rosenberg uses the individual experiences of the Chandler people to illuminate a given set of theories, weaving their personal frustrations and triumphs as a touchstone to a more academic discussion of the history and qualities of software engineering methodologies. It is a very effective tactic, the difference between telling you that Picasso could paint and showing you a print. This is not just a book for programmers… The soul of Rosenberg’s book is the struggle of the Chandler team members to take what happens in their heads and turn it into software. Understanding that struggle is one of the best ways to come to terms with the failures, compromises, and limitations of the software that runs your life.
There are no revisions for this post.