Joel on Software covers every conceivable aspect of software programming—from the best way to write code, to the best way to design an office in which to write code! All programmers, all people who want to enhance their knowledge of programmers, and all who are trying to manage programmers will surely relate to Joel's musings.
Review By: Jim Diefenbach 01/06/2006
"Joel on Software" presents ideas for managing programmers and a host of random thoughts and topics related to the programming practice.
The "Practice of Programming" section covers the basics—choosing a language, writing specifications, creating schedules, doing software builds, debugging, and ideas on better craftsmanship. Interviewing, incentives, techniques for handling personnel, and performance measurement are the topics of the "Managing Developers" section. The "Random Thoughts" cover a host of topics, from getting things done at the grunt level to real-world software development experiences.
The handling of the subject matter is expertly done and kept light in nature, while presenting the material in an organized and logical manner. The book is interesting, and it is just plain fun to read the stories about author Joel Spolsky's personal experiences. It is obvious that he has much insight into the topics and that he has dealt with diverse types of development while exchanging ideas with others via his Web site.
The text is quite robust, and the author succinctly presents many in-depth concepts. A single statement or wry comment may include a lot of substance beneath the surface. I enjoyed reading the book and found it easy to read, whether in full sections or in smaller bits and pieces. It is not necessary to read the book from beginning to end in sequential order. Just open to any topic of interest, and you can pick up many good ideas without having read prior chapters or sections.