Book review: Ship It!, by Jared Richardson, Will Gwaltney | Ship it! A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects

Ship It! is a very pleasant read, presenting a lot of simple but powerful ideas on how to make the software development process run more smoothly. With no unnecessary complexity in both the writing style and the concepts being described, it becomes easy to see how and why the ideas fit together, how they would help improve the quality of the product and of the overall process, and because every tool or technique remain "simple" many actually feel implementable (because they are!). The book includes strategies on how to bring about a change depending on your position (dev, tech lead, management, customer...), and with everything neatly cut into small parts, none is overwhelming and you can plot how best to bring them to your shop.

Although it doesn't match exactly the chapter structure I'd say there are 3 main parts to this book: tools, project management, and a list of common problems with their solutions. Feel free to skim to that last part when getting the book if you feel the need for a little bit of hope but I would advise reading the book in order, because many of the suggested solutions won't make a lot of sense otherwise.

Overall excellent, the writing style makes this book a pleasure to read and doesn't distract from the content. I came away with a ton of ideas on how to improve things and remove some of the difficulties of the software development process that really don't belong, and I hope to be able to demonstrate some of them to my team soon.


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