Archive for May 31st, 2010

The Design of Design. Essays from a computer scientist. Frederick P. Brooks

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The Design of Design. Essays from a computer scientist. Frederick P. Brooks. 2010. ISBN 9780201362985. The author of the Mythical Man-Month, the Father  of the IBM 360 hardware and software, Brooks is a giant.  He has put together a series of essays  that give any designer serious insights into the process.  Regardless of what you work in, architecture for homes or cathedrals,. OS for RIM, Linux modules,  web pages or wooden picnic tables, there is something for everyone on these essays.  From the book , “The author tracks the evolution of the design process, treats collaborative and distributed design, and illuminates what makes a truly great designer. He examines the nuts and bolts of design processes, including budget constraints of many kinds, aesthetics, design empiricism, and tools, and grounds this discussion in his own real-world examples—case studies ranging from home construction to IBM’s Operating System/360. Throughout, Brooks reveals keys to success that every designer, design project manager, and design researcher should know.

He points out that you study history to find out what works and how in order to learn from others.  His chapter Constraints are Friends is worth the price of the book.  He is veru harsh on himself for the errors that occured on his watch.  He also advocates that good design requires much more  planning and research than people are giving it.  If a company is always in a hurry to get to market, then it is not committed to good design. If you consider yourself a designer – you have read this book.  If you love computers you will cherish this book.

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