Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (May 19, 1990)
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #159 in Books > Computers & Technology > Hardware & DIY > Microprocessors & System Design > Computer Design #548 in Books > Computers & Technology > Hardware & DIY > Design & Architecture #1457 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Software Design & Engineering
"Wicked Problems, Righteous Solutions" was published 20 years from the point of this review. Within these 20 years, the book is dated yet also still amazingly up-to-date. Most of its up-to-date information has been summarized in the numerous books about agile and iterative development, yet most of them refer back to this book for more background information.I guess the essence of the book is that waterfall is a bad idea, there are good reasons for why it is a bad idea and there are alternative (ideas) that are worth considering that prevent that idea.The first two and the last (9) chapters cover the old discussion about is software development a science, is it engineering, or is it an art? What does being a professional mean in software development. It is amusing how relevant these questions still are in 2011, though the definition of what a craftsman is and does has definitively evolved over the many years.Chapter 3 and 4 (nearly half of the book) discuss the waterfall method, its history, the variants and also the many reasons why it doesn't and cannot work. One of the main reasons, the authors argue, is that software development is a "wicked problem" which is defined as "you know what system to build only after you build it." In other words, the world changes and both the developers and customers/users of the system constantly learn and therefore you cannot define the whole solution in the beginning but need to actually build something in order to gradually learn. Of course, much of these ideas have been taken years later in the agile development space and new ways of working were created to deal with that (of which there are some origins in this book).Chapter 5-8 discuss different alternatives to waterfall development.
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