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Book details of 'Rise & Resurrection of the American Programmer (Yourdon Press Computing Series)'

Cover of Rise & Resurrection of the American Programmer (Yourdon Press Computing Series)
TitleRise & Resurrection of the American Programmer (Yourdon Press Computing Series)
Author(s)Edward Yourdon
PublishedApril 1996
PublisherPrentice Hall PTR
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Rise & Resurrection of the American Programmer (Yourdon Press Computing Series)':

Reviewer wrote:
In 1992, Yourdon wrote The Decline and Fall of the American Programmer, warning of impending loss of leadership by American software engineers. But a great deal has changed in three years, and Yourdon now sees a complete reversal of many of the trends he previously documented, as well as new trends such as the WWW, Java, "Good Enough" Software, and the enormous impact of Microsoft on the world of software and computing, that together signify the Resurrection of American software engineering.

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
Ed Yourdon has changed his mind. Four years after writing "The Decline and Fall of the American Programmer", he now sees a bright future. Whereas before he saw cheaper foreign programmers eating America's technological lunch, he now finds that advanced programming tools and methods are making American programmers more productive. It is difficult to understand the change in attitude. For one thing, the tools cited were mostly available four years ago. For another, they are also accessible to foreign software houses. About the only real stumbling block Yourdon suggests for offshore software is the difference in "culture". Nevertheless, this book can provide some valuable advice. Not to programmers, but to managers. The really practical advice in the book is all about the oversight and direction of projects. (Yourdon seems to be speaking to programmers, but repeatedly admits that his suggestions may be vetoed by management, and suggesting that if it is, programmers "vote with their feet".) Much of the material will be unsurprising to technical people, but there is an abundance of useful, though counterintuitive, counsel for those "in charge" but not "in the know". There are several limitations of the book. For one thing, although he suggests that old COBOL programmers are on the way out, most of his guidance applies primarily to large projects, and large programming groups. The major exception to this corporate emphasis is a series of anecdotes from Microsoft. The recent establishment of a Web site dedicated to Microsoft software security holes is quite interesting in view of his emphasis on "Good Enough Software", in chapter seven. Chapter ten, a detailed examination of Java, is somewhat surprising, and, again, his section extolling the safety and security of Java is intriguing in view of recent discoveries of security problems with both Java and the differently architected Javascript. All of this, however, relates to technical aspects, and does not detract from the management value of the book. I would recommend that technical managers place this on the shelf next to "Technimanagement" (see reviews) for frequent reference. copyright Robert M. Slade, 1996

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