Software Development with Linux

Book Review The Business of Software

SUN, 01 NOV 2009

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The full title of that book is actually "The Business of Software: What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad", which I found a bit long for my post title...  But anyway, The Business of Software was written by Michael A. Cusumano.

I've not read that many book about the software business (actually, I'm currently reading my 2nd book about that topic...), so I can't compare it with anything else.  And also, keep in mind that I'm a software developer, not a business man.

Having said that, I'm not sure that the title of that book is really good.  I don't think the book can be interesting to the average programmer.  For programmer that want to become manager of entrepreneur, yes, but not for people that want to only do analysis, design, code, etc.

This book can be split in four parts :


  • Distinction between offering services, products, and both

  • History of the "big" software development companies (IBM, Microsoft, etc.)

  • How to evaluate a startup (as an investor)

  • Case studies of all of the above


So yes, there's plenty of interesting information in that book.  But is it for programmer?  I don't think so.  Unless you want to learn more about the history of the software business, and how the big players are evolving in it.

I've still learn a lot in that book (maybe just because my knowledge in that area was limited), and will probably read it again in the future, to get the most out of it.  But I wouldn't give it the 4.5/5 stars like Amazon's review.