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What are people saying about Ship It! A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects?

From macCompanion

Robert Pritchett

...Much like the Mac, this book “just works”, because it takes the best from lessons learned from team leaders and team players and takes the mystery out of the project management processes as applied to Software Development..... Ship It! is a surprisingly quick read and if you are in the software development food chain, this book pays for itself in a matter of hours.

From the Tech Book Report

Ship It! is part manual of best practices, part software methodologies book and part a distillation of ideas and experiences of good and bad projects that the authors have been involved in. It might sound like an odd combination, but it works well enough and the book provides both workable techniques and a process that puts them into use...there is less focus on methodologies and more on adding to your armoury of tools...

Verdict: Recommended

From Blogs

Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

I haven't had the chance to read and review any books from the Pragmatic Programmers series.  I decided to change that with the book Ship It! - A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects by Jared Richardson and William Gwaltney Jr.   After finishing the book, I put in an order for a few more titles.  If all the titles are this practical and useful, I'll be a happy camper...


I was amazed that these five chapters only take about 160 pages and yet tell you all you need to know about successful projects. I’ve experienced a lot of these problems myself, and so did/do you, I’m sure about that. Jared Richardson and William Gwaltney have put together an excellent guide for both developers and managers. A must-read, if you have problems in your team or projects, and a must-read to confirm you’re doing the right thing.

Mike Gunderloy

...It would be really nice if, as an industry, we could stop being such a bunch of screwed-up clowns and start living up to our potential. Ship It! is one of the things that could help, if only those who need the advice in its covers would pay attention....

Mike Clark

...What I love about this book is that I can hand it to any developer or manager and know that the advice is relevant to their project. It doesn't matter if they're already using a formal process or they have no process at all. Without the practices outlined in this book, every project is at risk of not shipping on time to happy customers. And so it should come as no surprise that I'll be highly recommending Ship It! to every project I visit...

David Starr

If you are a Development Team Lead or a Development Manager, you should be fired if you don't read this book.

Jeffery Fredrick (CruiseControl maintainer)

... it is a really special feeling when you give someone a book and it changes the way they think and act. So I'm really pleased to have just finished reading a book that I know I'll be handing out time and time again, and that's Ship It!, "A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects"...

Anil John

...“Ship It!” is in the style of the other Pragmatic books and is an easy and focused read.  I finished it in two days and have already gained a wealth of insight that I can apply immediately.  Highly recommended if you want to streamline your software development life!

From Amazon reviews

Jack D. Herrington "engineer and author" (Silicon Valley, CA)

More practical advice from the pragmatic crew
This is another excellent book from the guys at Pragmatic. In this book Jared and William cover pragmatic project management with down to earth advice on real world topics. In particular I liked some of their novel approaches to dealing with some of the quirky personality types that we find in this business. That being said there are good sections on process, design, testing, quality control and more. Definitely a good book for those tired of the preachy Booch and Rumbaugh crowd.

Ernest Friedman-Hill "JavaRanch Sheriff" (Gaithersburg, MD)

Buy It!
Ship It! is both a guide to running successful software projects, and a life preserver for projects that are failing. If you've ever worked on a troubled software project, you know what it feels like. The frustration. The sense of impending doom. The urge to polish your resume. We've all been there. So have Richardson and Gwaltney -- and they're offering to leverage their considerable experience to help save you and your project from this fate.

There's not much material that's truly new between these covers, but the presentation and point of view is refreshing. It's a rare book that speaks convincingly to both developers and managers, but this one does a good job. The book describes many of the practices of agile development -- continuous integration, automated testing, lightweight planning -- and combines them into a simple but powerful description of an approach to building software they call "Tracer Bullet Development." But the book doesn't assume you're going to do everything the authors suggest: they expect you to try just one thing as a time.

My favorite part of the book is compendium of one-page essays on common problems software projects have, and how to apply the principles and practices from the book to solve them. Unlike some other rather strained "antipatterns" catalogs that I've read, this section feels very practical and usable.

If your shop has trouble shipping quality software on time -- and let's face it, most do -- then this book is for you. If you're a manager, I'd say that doubly so.


Reader's Comments and Reviewers

Thank you for a very good and practical book. I'll recommend to read it to all my team members.

Maxim Fridental 

Hey, the book is awesome! I'm only at the beginning of the "build" section. So far very good. I like that the book isn't 2000 pages thick. I think that will help it go further (it's not daunting) and the info is great.

David Murray

That's got to be one of the *best* choice of title since the Mythical Man Month!!

Kenneth Sizer

A great book! The authors have done a great job in presenting the subject in a neutral way and avoiding any methodology-oriented traps.

Roberto Gianassi 

It's rare to have this much fun reading a book about software. The ideas are smart, relevant, and fundamental. I can be a better programmer today because of the things I read today.

Joe Fair 

This is fantastic stuff. As I started reading, I almost fell out of my seat because the project I'm on right now is going through exactly the hurt you describe and would benefit greatly from material just like this.

Matthew Bass

Even though our group was already following many of the practices outlined in Ship It!, I believe the book paid for itself within the first day of purchase. When one considers the burn rate of a typical software team, the hours of lost productivity that this book will save should make it a no-brainer purchase decision for any group.

Steve Mitchell