Return on Software: Maximizing the Return on Your Software Investment

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9780321228758: Return on Software: Maximizing the Return on Your Software Investment

Highlights critical, overlooked skills needed by true software professionals.

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From the Back Cover:

"This pioneering book highlights critical, overlooked skills needed by true software professionals."

Steve McConnell
CEO and Chief Software Engineering
Construx Software

"It's about time someone took this stuff seriously."

Steven Mellor
Chief Scientist
Embedded Systems Division
Mentor Graphics Corporation
Co-Author of Exploring the Role of Executable UML in Model-Driven Architecture and six other books

"Despite the fact that engineering economics is considered a core area of any engineering field, virtually no books have been written in the area of software engineering economics. Steve Tockey's Return on Software nicely fills this gaps by providing a comprehensive introduction to software engineering economics accessible both to students and to new software professionals."

Donald J. Bagert, Ph.D., P.E. Director of Software Engineering and Professor of Computer Science & Software Engineering Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

"The elements of this book are useful not only in making decisions but also in understanding why and how other people and organizations make decisions"

Shari Lawrence Pfleeger
Senior Researcher, RAND
Co-author of Security in Computing and eight other software engineering titles

"This just what the doctor ordered to help software programs solve the problem of how to introduce engineering economics and business decision-making into their curricula. The economics of software development should not only be part of any computing curriculum they are an essential element of recent accreditation and certification recommendations.

This book is an accessible and relevant text for any student of software engineering. The style is clear and straightforward and the software examples will be appealing to students and faculty alike. I can't wait to use it in class!"

Thomas B. Hilburn, Professor
Department of Computer and Software Engineering
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Is your organization maximizing the return on its investments of money, time, and personnel? Probably not, because most software professionals don't know how to consider the business aspects of their software decisions. Most don't even know that it's important to do so. Business consequences should play a critical role in all software technical choices—from choosing which projects to do, selecting software development processes, choosing algorithms and data structures, all the way to determining how much testing is enough.

Return on Software: Maximizing the Return on Your Software Investment is about making choices: software technical choices in a business context. It helps software professionals appreciate the business consequences of the decisions they make. This primer will prove a valuable reference for making the important decisions the typical software organization faces both today and down the road. Inside, you'll learn how to:

  • Estimate how much each proposed software technical decision will cost, and how much it will return.

  • Weigh the time frames for a software decision's costs and benefits against each other to reveal when there might be a more important factor than schedule.

  • Attach a value to quality and produce a rational answer to the question, "How much testing is enough?"

  • Account for risk and uncertainty in software technical decisions, such as when considering a new technology.

  • Communicate your decisions in a way that speaks to the all-important bottom line.

Each chapter contains a set of self-study questions designed to help you apply the featured concepts and techniques. An enhanced online index allows you to quickly and easily search the entire text for specific topics.

About the Author:

Steve Tockey is the principal consultant at Construx Software, where he consults on active development projects and teaches software requirements, design, quality, and software project management. He has been in the software industry since 1977, and has worked on applications ranging from radiation monitoring equipment to business systems to automated test equipment for commercial airliners.

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