Byzantine Reality

Searching for Byzantine failures in the world around us

More Joel on Software

Last month we looked at Joel on Software, which turned out to be a great read. Now that the sequel has come out, More Joel on Software, I grabbed it from my local bookstore and found it to be a worthy successor. It does things a little bit differently from its predecessor but holds true to the spirit of the books.

As mentioned, this book reads a little bit differently than the original. Like before, it’s a collection of blog posts off the Joel on Software website. But unlike before, this book focuses more on the business of software engineering rather than programming itself. It’s still a great read nonetheless and includes the now famous post that drew me to the Joel on Software blog in the first place: The Perils of JavaSchools. This post is easily one of the best in the book, if not the best, and it’s great to get a hardcopy of it (or as Joel says, the “dead tree version”).

This post is particularly notable to me because…I went to a JavaSchool. I did all my undergraduate work there and can definitely see the argument behind this post. And I really do wish that we got more exposure to different programming languages or that the language we used had a bit more variety in it as far as features go. This bothers me so much that it will definitely be the focus of a soon-to-come post, but for now it will suffice to say that Joel’s post is right on.

So although I’m really into the programming stuff and the book is more about the business it’s still well worth the inexpensive price (~$20) of the book. Lots of great material is covered, and another good read is about how to determine how much you should charge for your software. If you don’t happen to know and your business knowledge is relatively light, go get the book and read up on it.

Just like the previous book, this one also gets two thumbs up. It’s another easy read, it’s pretty inexpensive, and covers a wide variety of material. Go pick it up if you get some free time and need something pleasant to read.