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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

A book by Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister

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Showing its age

  • Mar 11, 2009
  • by
This is the book whose title has become synonymous with managing teams in software companies. Though this 2nd edition came out in 1999, most of the content is identical to that of the original 1987 edition. 22 years later, that's a problem. So much of our common practices and conventional wisdom have changed (in part due to the impact of this book) that much of the advice in the book is obsolete. True, gems like the inverse relationship between noise and code quality will likely stay relevant for a century, but most of this book is about getting programmers to work together. The fact is, today's programmer is a different beast from the programmer of the '80s.

For more up-to-date material, you might look to the Joel on Software books, or any number of blogs.

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More Peopleware: Productive Project... reviews
review by . August 13, 2008
Much of this book is spent explaining what should be obvious to the best managers, but which corporate culture and priorities tend to work against. In general, the book looks more at typical mistakes than at recipes for success. At the same time, the advice is solid and they often provide data to back up their assertions.    If I was a manager at a typical and mediocre corporation, I would not recommend this book too much-- it is hell fighting against corporate culture. However …
review by . December 29, 1999
Programming languages come and go with an occasional paradigm shift thrown in. However, the thought processes and the mental gyrations needed to complete large software projects remain largely unchanged in the decade since the first edition of this book was published. Unfortunately, management skills also remained stagnant as well. In this book, the authors lay out the ugly truth as to why much of software development fails. It is not a lack of technical or technological competence on the part of …
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Trevor Burnham ()
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Whatever you're doing right now, I was doing it before it was cool.
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About this book


Demarco and Lister demonstrate that the major issues of software development are human, not technical. Their answers aren't easy--just incredibly successful. New second edition features eight all-new chapters. Softcover. Previous edition: c1987. DLC: Management.
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ISBN-10: 0932633439
ISBN-13: 978-0932633439
Author: Tom DeMarco, Timothy Lister
Genre: Business & Investing, Computers & Internet
Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
Date Published: February 1999
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