Saturday, April 07, 2007

Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky

Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity (Paperback)
by Joel Spolsky

This book is mainly a collection of posts of the author on his web site

Very insightful and interesting book. Never had read anything meaningful and useful but also entertaining and such a fast read.

It's also amazing that how well the author and his editor have done a great job of organizing a bunch blog entries into an order that makes a nice book. It's not easy to do and anyone who writes blog knows. When you write disparate pieces here and there, you do not have that whole picture in mind  and when such articles are collated together they do not read well. This book is free from such malady.

Joel has been there, seen that and done that in a lot of areas in software. He has worked for large companies such as Microsoft, been a very technical developer and later an entrepreneur and an executive running his company while also cranking out some code. Such people have enormous amount of valuable insight and when they share it thru books like this, a lot of us can benefit.

Joel addresses variety of issues in this book. He talks about basics of computing, hiring right people, project management for large and small companies, business strategy as it applies to software, what future may hold and other topics of general interest to a software professional.

What makes this book so interesting is Joel's extraordinary ability to look at popular things that happened during our times in recent few years and dissect them to illustrate ideas. He uses companies such as to show what strategy they used and why it was right or wrong for a particular reason. Many do know that (price comparison web site) that had once acquired for eye popping 450 millions was discarded when realized that it was not useful. For an outside observer it may seem how stupid was. But, Joel makes a case that when you are trying conquer new world and that too in a short time span, you sometimes have to go for such things. He differentiate between organic growth and growth by acquisitions very well. It's really nice accompaniment to dry business books and case studies they use in schools.

Great book. Fast read.

Also Joel's web site is a great source for keeping up with his new insights.


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