1. 76
  1.  

  2. 12

    Returning long enough to congratulate you on getting to the finish line. It’s an important topic that you’ve done a massive amount of work on. The topics covered may broaden people’s minds a lot more versus the more common, narrow theories of software developmemt. Having many references, a free PDF, and all your supporting code and data available also sets a great example all scientific works should follow.

    I hope your work gets the impact it deserves. I also hope you’re doing well personally. :)

    1. 12

      If I may be so superficial for a moment, I love the cover! It feels like a combination of medieval manuscripts, 1970’s American cartoons, and Godel Escher Bach. I never would have expected to see that combination of things together. Delightful!

      1. 7

        Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights was a suggestion included in the original list of ideas I sent the artist

      2. 8

        Congrats! Looks like it’s time to update your bio:

        currently working on a book covering all of evidence-based software engineering.

        (ping @hwayne who also thinks about engineering)

        1. 3

          I’ve been waiting for this for a while. I’m already reading it and it’s full of quotables (at least the beginning). Great job.

          I’m also considering to set up a study group about it if it lives up to the hype.

          1. 5

            Hype? Whoever my invisible (to me) marketeer is, keep up the good work!

            1. 2

              I guess I’ve heard about the project years ago and was waiting for it to come out. It might also be a fake memory. The introduction reinforced the hype because it’s a topic I’m very keen on. Not much disproving the myths, but the role of rituals, myths and social structures in shaping both the process and the result of technological production. Clearly your book opens a can of worms that was there waiting for a work like this.

          2. 2

            I’m skimming through the book, congratulations great job and thanks for sharing the knowledge!

            1. 2

              Great reference! Thank you very much!

              How long does it take to compile the book? R plots can surely be parallelized but then it is one huge TeX document?

              1. 4

                The book’s workflow is rather involved. I have just timed the LaTeX part and was surprised to see it took 15 seconds (it felt longer). Everything else is much longer. Generating figures from R takes less than an hour (never timed it), but there are 600+ of them (one takes several hours and I rarely build it).

                The real time sink is checking layout. LaTeX users will be familiar with the way that figure ‘float’ around.

              2. 1

                Suggest add release tag, remove science tag. Possibly add practices tag.

                Congratulations on your hard work!!!

                1. 6

                  Why remove the science tag? Seems like this book is precisely about applying scientific methodologies to the question of how to best write good code; I.e. it is itself an attempt to do science.

                  1. 4

                    The material is science oriented, given that no engineering tag is available this looked the closest fit.

                    The intent is to create future practices.

                    1. 2

                      Also do you have a way of receiving cash money for doing this? I’d like to reward it even though I don’t have a lot to spare at the moment.

                      1. 4

                        Thanks for your offer. I am lucky enough not to be in need of money (unless you’re offering $$$ which would allow me to run some experiments).

                        What you can do for me is to keep your eyes open for human software engineering data, and let me know if you find anything that looks interesting. There is lots of source available on github and people are busy measuring it, but data on the human side of things is hard to find.

                        1. 1

                          What do you mean by human side? This one maybe:

                          E. Kalliamvakou, C. Bird, T. Zimmermann, A. Begel, R. DeLine and D. M. German, “What Makes a Great Manager of Software Engineers?,” in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 87-106, 1 Jan. 2019, doi: 10.1109/TSE.2017.2768368.

                          Microsoft has published quite a few studies. For example, look through Nachi Nagappans publications.

                          1. 3

                            I cite six of Nagappan’s papers.

                            Evidence-based papers (or empirical research as it is known in academia) will contain plots and tables (if you are lucky there will be an appendix listing the data). A surprising number of papers talk-the-talk but don’t actually contain any data.

                            Difficult to obtain human data includes:

                            • effort estimation, one I did earlier. A companies anonymised Jira data would be great (I do offer a free data analysis service if companies will let me make the data public).

                            • usage data. How much time do people spend using software. This kind of data is ultra-rare.

                            • experimental data using professional developers. This tends to get published and so I am likely to know about this data. But if you find an obscure report someplace, let me know.

                            Not, I repeat NOT surveys of developers. The vast majority are fake research. There are a handful of good ones out there, but I don’t want to waste other people’s time looking at survey data.

                          2. 1

                            $$$

                            OK so I can’t buy your book.

                            Can I get this book as a book? Failing that, can I get this book as an ebook? (not a PDF)

                            May I pay you for either of those goods / services?

                            1. 2

                              I’m investigating a dead tree version. Color and paper size limit the possibilities, along with me perhaps taking too much advantage of margin whitespace.

                              Generating an ebook would be a lot of work.

                              1. 1

                                ebook

                                FWIW, I came to ask about an e-book too.

                                Regardless, thank you for publishing the book freely!

                                1. 1

                                  Checkout the experimental mobile friendly pdf.

                                  Does this make life easier?

                                  1. 1

                                    I’ve just tried that on my android phone using xodo and it is certainly easier to read than a full-width format PDF. (I like xodo because it can auto-crop margins).

                                    I had been hoping to load it onto my kindle and have the text reflow, but the narrow PDF is a good compromise. Thank you.

                                    1. 1

                                      I tried it on my iPhone and the page size / font size was far too small to be read comfortably. Like @edd said, my biggest hope is for reflow.

                                      I’ll give it a go on my laptop!

                                      1. 2

                                        This topic is being discussed in issue 16 of the book’s Github page, which is probably more appropriate than this comments page.

                                        1. 1

                                          Cheers! I’ll follow the issue.

                                  2. 1

                                    I’d like a dead tree version too. Since I like to have a copy on my bookshelf, I don’t mind paying $50-100 if it looks nice enough and has quality paper that will last (although less is always nice).

                                    I’m happy to help you investigate and plan as I’m interested in a general way to print these electronic versions that isn’t like the poor quality I’ve seen in Amazon’s print to order fiction books.

                                    As a quality reference, I’m thinking of those Barnes and noble classics [0] or the stripe press hardcovers [1].

                                    [0] https://www.google.com/search?q=barnes+and+noble+hardcover+classics&client=safari&hl=en-us&prmd=sinv&sxsrf=ALeKk03PrUxhtQlAaCyMdmA8mFaldP_uPg:1605276708018&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjr6cnf2f_sAhUHKK0KHV21BQ4Q_AUoAnoECAMQAg&biw=375&bih=553&dpr=2

                                    [1] https://www.google.com/search?q=stripe+press+books&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwjv3N3g2f_sAhXJi60KHRbZAZ8Q2-cCegQIABAC&oq=stripe+press&gs_lcp=ChJtb2JpbGUtZ3dzLXdpei1pbWcQARgBMgIIADIECAAQGDIECAAQGDIECAAQGDIECAAQGDoFCAAQzQI6BAgAEEM6BQgAELEDOgYIABAFEB46BggAEAgQHlDrlgJYk6YCYJOxAmgCcAB4AIABdIgBzQqSAQM5LjWYAQCgAQGwAQDAAQE&sclient=mobile-gws-wiz-img&ei=JpSuX--xGsmXtgWWsof4CQ&bih=553&biw=375&client=safari&prmd=sinv&hl=en-us

                                    1. 2

                                      The more people checking out the option the sooner a solution is found :-)

                                      There was a lobste.rs discussion on this last year.

                                      The issues are color, paper size and number of pages.

                                      IngramSpark look like they can handle the job. Lulu cannot handle it, neither can Amazon. Have not checked any other printers recently.

                                      I’m going to order a single copy from them, to see what the quality is like. First I have to get the pdf into a form they can process, i.e., pdf/a format

                                  3. 1

                                    Would a pdf version with shorter lines help? I could probably generate one of those without too much effort.

                                    Are there guidelines for pdf friendly formats for mobiles?