I have been yearning to write about this book for a long time since it had become an all-time favorite. You have got to love this book for its incredible depth, witty jokes, great style, and funky structure. Definitely a must-read for every developer.
Don’t get fooled by the name though – the author covers a lot of ground and the book could be helpful not only to developers but project/product managers, QAs, HR, even top-level management.
Hard Code is a compilation of opinion columns written by the fictitious figure I. M. Wright (got to love the name), or as Eric Brechner calls it “my alter ego”. In addition to topics like dev schedules, managing risk, agile methodologies, and testing the author covers other more esoteric, yet just as important, ones like people issues and team growth. Moreover the book can be considered as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Microsoft since it offers quite a few details about the inner-workings of the software giant.
I will leave you with three of my favorite quotes from the book:
“A horse walks into a bar and says: I can code that feature in two days.”
“If you think Agile methods fix all that is wrong with how we build products, you are, in fact, a fool… If you are an anti-Agile curmudgeon who thinks Scrum is an acronym for System of Clueless Reckless Untested Methods, you are as much a fool and just as ignorant”
“If you treat your test team like trash, trash is likely what you’ll ship and trashy is how you’ll feel. If you prefer a smooth release and want to ship a great product, make your test team your ally. … [testers] They cover areas that you can’t or don’t want to do. They keep you on schedule and track. They keep you honest and represent the customer’s perspective.”
Now go read it!