2010-05-30

Book review: Coder to Developer

The book tries to cover the whole of the software development process from planning, team management, coding best practices and finally creating an installer and releasing the product. With such a broad range of topics each one is only treated very superfluosly and shallow. The author has a very tool centric view on things and as such many chapters are just a market overview of available software for the task at hand. I don't think this is of much use for the reader since that is exactly the kind of information you can gather in half an hour of internet research with google - and even after reading the book you'd still have to do this research anyways in order to gather current prices for the latest gadgets. All software solutions presented in the book are for windows only and Microsoft's tools seem to get extra focus and attention. The intended target audience for the book are independant developers and small software shops. As such the author assumes that you are wearing multiple hats and are filling all kinds of different roles from designer to coder to management. I very much liked this perspective on the software world because for one thing I am one such lone wolf developer and second because there are already tons of software books for the large corporate software developer. Those books typically assume loads of process and management and different departments etc which all don't apply for the single developer. Two important things missing in the book's coverage are two chapters: One for the time before concrete planning actually begins on the question of "what to develop" and determining markets. Another one for the other end of the road on how to market your software, how to price it and how to present and distribute it. If those were included I think the book would truly cover the complete process a lone developer goes through from idea to product.

All in all, the book gave me little new information but a good checklist to work through on a project.