The books in this section have been selected according to the guidance they provide in the pursuit of quality, safety, and reliability of software. Because the concept "quality" subsumes a vast range of desirable attributes, the books we present focus on some but not all of such attributes.
Since we are convinced that software engineering shares more than a name with other engineering disciplines, we have also included studies of engineering as such, with case studies and insights into the nature of successful design. Software engineers can and should learn from the successful habits and procedures that have been created, refined, and taught by engineers in a variety of fields.
Summer 1997 Spotlight
The ten chapters demonstrate for instance that we can comprehend and improve artifacts by critical analysis of poor engineering and failure modes, that competing objectives are likely to lead to the constant evolution of multiple designs, that factors of safety result in more reliable structures, that the success of one product leads to the conception and development of many derivative ideas, and that the appreciation of failure modes improves our identification of engineering problems which must be "conceived and attacked."
If we value the engineering part of software engineering, we should pay
serious attention to the nature of engineering and design.
Contains a wealth of illustrations, an abundant bibliography, and a detailed index.
(242 pages, 1996)
Engineering and the Mind's Eye
To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design
Fall 1996 Spotlight
Summer 1997 Spotlight
Brief profiles are interleaved with the 14 chapters; the profiles describe successful projects that concretize in practice the theme and insights developed throughout the book. The text is not a cookbook; it requires work on the part of the reader, who will have to consider if and how each question raised and advice offered is relevant and can be applied to his own activities and artifacts. This book is primarily for software developers, but it is also of interest for the broad community of people who conceive, develop, market, evaluate, and use software.
Until software design matures to the point where something akin to handbooks and cookbooks is practical as well as widely approved and established, the best we can do is to learn from the immediate past with the narrative help of design experts. This book is filled with gems and great lessons which can only benefit your activities as software designer.
Contains many illustrations, carefully selected references for further reading at the end
of each chapter, and a detailed index.
(321 pages, 1996)
Safeware: System Safety and Computers
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