REVIEW - Beyond Chaos - The Expert Edge in Managing Software Development


Beyond Chaos - The Expert Edge in Managing Software Development


Larry L. Constantine




Addison-Wesley Professional (2001)




Roger N Lever


April 2002



This is a collection of forty-five essays from many major industry figures regarding some aspect of the software development process. Some of the contributors include: Larry Constantine, Mary Loomis, Steve McConnell, Ed Yourdon, Peter Coffee and David Thielen.

At the back of the book are a reference and a short biography of all of the contributors. The essays, over three hundred and fifty pages in total, are split into six parts:

Part I - It's About People

Part II - Project Management

Part III - Under Pressure

part IV - Quality Required

Part V - Processes and Practices

Part VI - Leadership and Teamwork

Anyone with a level of involvement in managing the process will find something of value. The essays are clear, articulate and encapsulate key learning. If you find nothing new here then your experience is both wide ranging and a paragon of excellence and you should have been one of the authors! The virtue of this book is that it brings together many authors on a collection of related topics, however, for those who want to understand a particular methodology or a particular subject in depth then this book will have much less value. Subjects that are not covered include detailed processes such as change control, configuration management and coding practices. However this should not detract from what is a useful book about managing the software development process, in fact, just what it says in the title.

This book will have the most value to senior developers, technical team leaders, project managers and programme managers. However, the subject affects everyone within the software development process and provides insights that will be of value. This book is recommended for those who like someone else to do the hard work of collecting wisdom into a readily digestible form.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.