Monthly Archives: November 2012

Shipping Greatness

O’Reilly send me a copy of “Shipping Greatness” to review. This is a book that presses so many buttons you just have to read it. If necessary  standing up in the bookshop, or in the checkout queue. In my case I was so inspired by my first reading that I launched into shipping an App just to practice the ideas in the book. It took a little longer than I had anticipated, which is why the review got delayed a few weeks.

So, what did I learn from the book?

Chris Vander Mey worked at Google, Amazon, Microsoft and other high tech leaders. He shares all the best bits he learned about shipping software – ie the full development lifecycle, including the bits at each end, the conception and the after-sales services.

In this book he shares

  • – how to pitch your idea
  • – how to design
  • – how to secure team buy-in
  • – current successful techniques of UX ( user experience ) design
  • – how to size
  • – how to price
  • – commercial quality control
  • – how to launch
  • – incremental releasing
  • – how to support

This is totally invaluable. How come software tools get better and better, skills more and more widely known, hardware continues to develop with Moore’s law, and yet only a handful of tech leaders seem to be able to deliver solutions that work? While many businesses struggle with software releases and, in some famous cases, even collapse under the weight of upgrades, mergers or development projects? This book shares the secrets.

Chris Vander Mey name-drops and quotes extensively from the working practices of Bezos, Schmidt et al.

He tells us what works for them and therefore what might work for you. This book is full of gems of advice for anyone involved anywhere in the software development cycle.
And in this wired world, that means all of us.