Found 2 comments on HN
W0lf · 2017-06-05 · Original thread
I've gathered all the book titles in this thread and created Amazon affiliate links (if you don't mind. Otherwise you still have all the titles together :-) )

A Pattern Language, Alexander and Ishikawa and Silverstein

Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment , Stevens

Algorithmics: the Spirit of Computing, Harel

Applied Crytography, Wiley

Clean Code, Martin

Clean Coder, Martin

Code Complete, McConnel

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Petzold

Coders at Work, Seibel

Compilers: Principles, Techniques, & Tools, Aho

Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, O'Hallaron and Bryant

Data Flow Analysis: Theory and Practice, Khedker

Dependency Injection in .NET, Seemann

Domain Driven Design, Evans

Fundamentals of Wireless Communication, Tse and Viswanath

Genetic Programming: An Intrduction, Banzhaf

Head First Design Patterns, O'Reilly

Implementing Domain-Driven Design, Vernon

Intrduction to Algorithms, CLRS

Introduction to General Systems Thinking, Weinberg

Joy of Clojure, Fogus and Houser

Let over Lambda, Hoyte

Operating Systems: Design and Implementation, Tanenbaum

Parsing Techniques, Grune and Jacobs

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, DeMarco and Lister

Programming Pearls, Bentley

Software Process Design: Out of the Tar Pit, McGraw-Hill

Software Runaways, Glass

Sorting and Searching, Knuth

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Abelson and Sussman

The Art of Unit Testing, Manning

The Art of Unix Programming, ESR

The Design of Design: Essays from a Computer Scientist, Brooks

The Effective Engineer, Lau

The Elements of Style, Strunk and White

The Healthy Programmer, Kutner

The Linux Programming Interface, Kerrisk

The Mythical Man-Month, Brooks

The Practice of Programming, Kernighan and Pike

The Pragmatic Programmer, Hunt and Thomas

The Psychology of Computer Programming, Weinberg

Transaction Processing: Concepts and Techniques, Gray and Reuter

Types and Programming Languages, Pierce

Understanding MySQL Internals, Pachev

Working Effectively with Legacy Code, Feathers

Zen of graphics programming, Abrash

Robert L. Glass has compiled a book of entertaining and instructive stories regarding the massive software project failures of our time:

Software Runaways: Monumental Software Disasters.

Anyone with an interest in the management of software projects should read it.

The worst of these project failures, the most expensive and the most ambitious, was the attempt made by the Federal Aviation Authority to modernize the computer system it uses to keep track of what planes are  in the air. The effort began in 1981 and ended in complete failure in 1994. The government hired IBM to do the actual work, and over the course of 14 years, IBM burned through $3.7 billion dollars. Nothing was accomplished. The project was finally shut down by Congress. Nothing came out of the project, not a single piece of software, nor even a line of code, was ever used for anything.

From the book:

It has been noted by everyone from the New York Times to the Vice-President of the United States that the main problem on the Advanced Automation System was "changing requirements". For those involved in large-scale computer systems, that is nothing new. No one can perfectly surmise the shape and feel of a system years in advance. Even replacing some aspect of a system you know by heart is not immune from thinking twice about it. ... [But] the requirements churn (it was called) on the Advanced Automation System was not normal. It was the result of our enchantment with the computer-human interface, the CHI. The new controller workstation, fronted by a 20" by 20" color display, because it was capable of seemingly endles variety of presentations, mesmerized the population of AAS like the O.J. Simpson trial mesmerized the nation...

The project was handed over to human factor pundits, who then drove the design. Requirements became synonymous with preferences. Thousands of labor-months were spent designing, discussing, and demonstrating the possibilities: colors, fonts, overlays, reversals, serpentine lists, toggling, zooming, opaque windows, the list is huge. It was something to see. (Virtually all of the marketing brochures - produced prematurely and in large numbers - sparkled with some rendition or other of the new controller console.) It just wasn\'t usable...

Rummaging through one of the closets at the far end of the hall on the fifth floor one day, looking for some standards document, I found an envelope left by someone who left the company - as many did after so many years advancing against stone, while the wheels of commerce were accelerating on what everyone referred to as "the outside". It contained "A Brief History Of The Advanced Automation System". It was printed by hand and left, perhaps inadvertantly, or perhaps with the hope that some anthropologist might some day discover it and make a pronouncement. In every important way, it is the truth:

"A young man, recently hired, devotes years to a specification written to the bit level for programs that will never be coded. Another, to a specification that will be replaced. Programmers marry one another, then divorce and marry someone in another subsystem. Program designs are written to severe formats, then forgotten. The formats endure. A man decides to become a woman and succeeds before system testing starts. As testing approaches, she begins a second career on local television, hosting a show on witchcraft. An architect chases a new technology, then another, then changes his mind and goes into management. A veteran programmer writes the same program a dozen times, then transfers. The price of money increases eight times. Programmers sleep in the halls. Committees convene for years to discuss keystroking. An ambitious training manager builds an encyclopedia of manuals no one will ever use. Decisions are scheduled weeks in advance. Workers sit in the hallways. Notions of computing begin in the epoch of A, edge toward B, then come down hard on A + B. Human factors experts achieve Olympian status. The Berlin Wall collapses. The map of Europe is redrawn. Everything is counted. Quality becomes mixed with quantity. Morale is reduced to a quotient, then counted. Dozens of men and women argue for thousands of hours: What is a requirement? A generation of workers retire. The very mission changes and only a few notice. Programming theories come and go. Managers cling to expectations, like a child to a blanket. Presentations are polished to create an impression, then curbed to cut costs. Then they are studied. The work spikes and spikes again. Offices are changed a dozen times. Management retires and returns. The contractor is sold. Software is blamed. Executives are promoted. The years rip by with no end in sight. A company president gets an idea: make large small. Turn methods over to each programmer. Dress down. Count on the inscrutability of programming. Promote good news. Turn a leaf away from the sun. Maybe start over.

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