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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

Dreaming In Code

A month or so back I was perusing MSDN Blogs and followed a link to the Dreaming In Code website.

Buy Dreaming In Code 

I bought it and finished reading the book on my way home from the MVP Summit last week. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to learn more about large software projects.

The book offers a look behind the scenes at the design and development of an open-source Personal Information Manager project named Chandler. Chandler was initially touted as "The Outlook Killer" and the book describes Mitch Kapor's frustration with Exchange as one motivation for starting the project.

I found the book a fascinating look into

  • the work that goes into large projects;
  • the team dynamic as applied to software design and development;
  • open source development.

The book is slightly biased towards open source development and the open source community, but it's subject is an open source development project so the bias is expected. That shouldn't prevent anyone from reading the book. The challenges and pitfalls of producing great software bear no respect for platform or language. 

One of the points the author drives home is how little we as developers and IT professionals study our own field. If you read my ramblings, you are probably not in that crowd.

The book's conclusion (and several reviews) led me to believe the project is a failure. I disagree - I don't think it's finished yet. Some things take time. Good software sometimes - often, in fact - takes more time than anyone can foresee at the start.

:{> Andy

Published Sunday, April 20, 2008 12:50 AM by andyleonard

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