Stories from people who've been there
I am looking for stories of people who've been there. People who started a commercial sw project, worked on it from idea to customer, and wrote a book. I'm not looking for the programmers view, or the project manager's view, I want everything. Does anyone know of such book?
Er, Tracy Kidder "Soul of a New Machine" is a bit of a classic:
There must be some others e.g. Yourdon's "Deathmarch" springs immediately to mind.
Since two people have recommended "Soul of a New Machine", which is about hardware, I feel I can recommend Jerry Kaplan's "Startup", about the rise and fall of GO, the pioneer in pen computing.
"Deathmarch" would be the book for my last startup. They're somehow still in business, but definitely on life support.
Damn it Philo, now I'm reading "Prime Intellect" from work, which I think is a terrible idea.
March 2nd, 2005
It's long out of print, but if you can get a copy of "The Autodesk File" by John Walker, I highly recommend it. It tells the tale of the first few years in the development of Autocad and is fascinating reading.
Through a series of notes, letters, and prose, he tells about the initial development of the product, the search for funding, and the evolution of the company in its early years. As someone who was involved in a similar endeavor at the same time period (early 80's), I can attest to the accuracy of his descriptions of the business climate and the way things were done in those days.