Reading: Dreaming in Code

Dreaming in Code by Scott Rosenberg is a intimate look at the culture of tech startups and the challenges they encounter. The author does an incredible job of providing a first-hand account of his experience, while using every available opportunity to go on side quests to explore the industry as a whole.

Overarching book themes:

  • The inherent imperfection of software engineering
  • Technical debt vs. production schedule
  • The pitfalls of project management
  • Dynamics of silicone valley tech startups
  • Open source software
  • The history of software
  • Project management methodologies

According to a 2002 National Institute of Standards and Technology study, around 66% all software was delivered significantly late, over budget or was cancelled. Using OSAF as a case study, readers examine what exactly caused the Chandler project to encounter scheduling issues:

  • “Black hole” bugs
  • “Snakes”, problems without agreed upon solutions
  • Scope creep
  • Poorly though out initial design and use cases
  • Lack of specifications
  • Project management struggles
  • Staffing and turnover
  • Release scheduling
  • Planning bottlenecks
  • “Sharpening the axe” projects

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