97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know
Collective Wisdom from the Experts
By Richard Monson-Haefel
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 2009
Pages: 222

In this truly unique technical book, today's leading software architects present valuable principles on key development issues that go way beyond technology. More than four dozen architects -- including Neal Ford, Michael Nygard, and Bill de hOra -- offer advice for communicating with stakeholders, eliminating complexity, empowering developers, and many more practical lessons they've learned from years of experience. Among the 97 principles in this book, you'll find useful advice such as:

  • Don't Put Your Resume Ahead of the Requirements (Nitin Borwankar)
  • Chances Are, Your Biggest Problem Isn't Technical (Mark Ramm)
  • Communication Is King; Clarity and Leadership, Its Humble Servants (Mark Richards)
  • Simplicity Before Generality, Use Before Reuse (Kevlin Henney)
  • For the End User, the Interface Is the System (Vinayak Hegde)
  • It's Never Too Early to Think About Performance (Rebecca Parsons)

To be successful as a software architect, you need to master both business and technology. This book tells you what top software architects think is important and how they approach a project. If you want to enhance your career, 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know is essential reading.

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


It's not a book, a very good collection


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Comments about oreilly 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know:

First of all, this is not a traditional book but a very good collection of insightful short essays from experts. You need to set your expectations correct before reading it.

I think the book is a great guide and sometimes even illuminating if you are a new or aspiring software architecht. I don't remember putting this many bookmarks on a single book ever but I can safely say _at least_ half of the book was VERY useful, the half of the remaining was still good and the last 25% was OK. I'm glad bought and finished it and I'm quite certain I'll read some parts of it again and again in the future since sometimes you need to remind yourself these things :)

(5 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


97 Things Every Team Lider Should Know

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know:

"97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know" is a new title from O'Reilly. It is edited by Richard Monson-Haefel, you might know him from "Enterprise JavaBeans", "Java Message Services" or "J2EE Web Services". This time, his book is a set of guidelines collected from about 50 experienced software architects. Among them you can find Google, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems employees, authors of books, freelancers etc. My favorites are:

Michael Nygard _ "wrote: Release It! Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software (Pragmatic Bookshelf),"

Craig Russell _ "is a practicing software architect specializing in object persistence and distributed systems. He currently works as a senior staff engineer at Sun Microsystems."

Mark Ramm _ "is BDFL for TurboGears 2, a python enthusiast, and a generally crazy dude , "

Each advice is maximum two pages long, with author's short biography note at the end. All 97 advices are based on real life experience. Often, there are short stories showing why is it important or how it works. There is even story about the design of F16 jet fighter aircraft! It really helps to remember information.

I like this book because it is very pragmatic. In my opinion the subtitle describes it in a perfect way, which is "Collective Wisdom from the Experts". All advices are based on many years of experience and in my opinion all of them are truly important. Some of them are very obvious, but it is good to read about it one more time. Each chapter is very short so you do not need a lot of time to read it. It is a perfect read for a bus or short break. My favorite hints are:

"One Line of Working Code is Worth 500 of specification"

"Commit-and-Run is a Crime"

"Avoid Scheduling Failures"

If you are looking for a book which says about architecture problems and gives you "3000-Foot view" this one is for you. I didn't like that high level problems, a lot of them should be dedicated to team leaders. I was looking for a book focused on design patterns, best practices and advices for software design, and this one is more about how to lead a group of people. For example, one of these advices says that you are supposed to stand up while talking to developers to increase effectiveness of your communication. I agree, it is important, but it is a book about software architecture not interpersonal communication. Read the titles of the chapters before buying it. It is probably my problem, because I am not an architect, I am rather software developer/designer.

I recommend "97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know" to team leaders and high level architects. For those who would like to summarize their knowledge. It is not a tutorial or "how to" book. I don't recommend it to software developers and designers, you might be bored.

(12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)


I like it

By Krzysztof Satola

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know:

97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know is a book about things which are obvious and every software architect should know, remember and employ. The problem is that most things you can find inside the book are easily forgotten, underestimated and usually not implemented during day-to-day work.

The book consists of 97 short essays. Each of them deals with a vital problem software architects often have to face. Although there are great number of brilliant stories in the book I especially like the one titled: You're Negotiating More Often Than You Think, which is about a project sponsor wanting to cut down expenses. Does it sound familiar to you? Do you know what to do when it happens? The book is a collective work which makes it even more valuable.

Every day in the morning I start my work reading 1-3 essays to keep good practices in my memory and not forget management pitfalls lying in wait for me round the corner. I believe it helps me to become a better software architect. This book is a great and rare opportunity to learn from real experts in the field.

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