Monday, September 17, 2007

Microsoft Secrets--10 years later

Michael Cusumano's Microsoft Secrets, although now more than 10 years old, remains a great study on the production of software on a large scale.

Cusumano's humble attention to details — carried over from his earlier studies of Japanese software factories and combined with his particular focus on the evolution of ideas on process, organization and the art of software production — gives a strange detective-story quality to Secrets.

The volume of interviews and quotes, mini case studies, historical reviews and multiple perspectives from within Microsoft, and the repeated return to essential topics from all these prespectives, make the book a highly valuable read. (Some have made it a required reading in software engineering courses.)

I will try to return to Secrets and Cusumano's other works here in the future, hoping to note some of the highlights.

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