4 out of 4 stars
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Guide to Software Projects for Business People by Jonathan P. Crosby is a manual written for managers who want or need to get involved in the IT side of their organization.
There is no business without software development, and the IT department is an integral part of any company. Until recently, IT has been neglected, and its role has been mostly relegated to technical support. However, IT is so much more. Without it, a company cannot run. Tech support is a major part of any business, but so is the software used daily by the people working there.
One of the reasons IT is the shunned department is due to all the tech and geeky stuff IT people use in their daily work that nobody can comprehend. People generally fear what they don’t understand, and what they fear they ignore or reject.
In this how-to guide, the author introduces business people to the wonderful world of IT in a way that is easy to understand using powerful metaphors and analogies from all walks of life. Jonathan Crosby compares the various stages of software development to different parts of building a house, which makes software development much easier to follow in an organization. He explains the process of creating the software from the design stage to coding, testing, and releasing it to the public. Each step has an in-depth explanation with numerous examples, some based on Jonathan Crosby’s experience in the industry.
The book not only covers the steps to create a product but also discusses the many challenges a company faces in doing so. It goes over two main methodologies (Waterfall and Agile), showing why the Agile method is more flexible and more geared toward modern businesses. The company I worked at for twenty years used the Waterfall method, so reading about the Agile system was quite refreshing. I can see why most organizations prefer to use it today. The iterative approach makes a huge difference in the various phases of creating the program.
Having worked in a department bridging IT with the rest of the company, being involved in software training, writing the in-house manual, and engaging in tech support, I know all about the pitfalls of trying to bring both sides to working harmoniously together. After reading this book, all I could think was, “I wish I had this guide back in the day. It would have helped me so much.”
The guide is written in a clear language that is easy to follow even for those who have never done any software development at all, and the words used are acknowledging the book’s readers. The minimal jargon introduced is well explained and easy to follow.
In terms of editing, I found very few grammatical mistakes; most were punctuation issues, which means the book was properly edited. For all the reasons above, I give Guide to Software Projects for Business People 4 out of 4 stars. The readership for this book is restricted to managers and business people who want to work on a new project, understand what the IT department is working on, or improve interdepartmental collaboration in the organization.
Guide to Software Projects for Business People
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