Showstopper!by Wojciech Adam Koszek ⋅ May 5, 2012 ⋅ East Palo Alto, CA
This book is a great take on the software-engineering, as it explains interactions between people, computers, time and money. If you've ever wondered how hard it is to work on big industry projects, this book might be for you.
“Your ass is grass, and I’m a lawnmower”
“I’ll walk through your wall”
This book was really educational. Showing Windows NT development from the backstage is something I really enjoyed.
The whole thing is actually a biography of Dave Cutler, ex-DEC software type, who was brought to Microsoft to architect “Next-Technology” system.
Designed from scratch, was considered one of the biggest software project of that kind back then.
The thing that interested me ware software engineering practices, and I think I wasn’t disappointed with this book.
Software engineering is mentioned from all perspectives: development, testing, release cycle, shipment.
Microsoft guys were eating their own dog food by installing software builds, right after NT was able to cope with basic load.
Automatic compilation of sources helped finding bad ones, who broke the build.
Descriptions sent me a “it was a lean development software factory house” signal.
Releasing NT sounded like something very similar to FreeBSD 5, where a lot of outstanding bugs were being caught and kept preventing the Release Team from finally making OS work reliably.
Microsoft in NT days was putting lots of lots of pressure on its people. Family thread is present into the book, and sounds like code was causing a lot of social problems (aka $REALLIFE) too.