A letter from Kendall Scott, author:

This isn't exactly your typical computer science book.

For one thing, it's compact but authoritative. There's no chance of you getting lost in the thickets of theory: Doug and I talk about a relatively small, yet powerful, set of tools and techniques that will add a lot of value to an object-oriented software development project, and we don't talk about things that don't add all that much value. The approach that we present here is one that Doug's used successfully, and refined continuously, in the context of dozens of projects, as a developer, trainer, and consultant, over the past six years across the United States and Europe. (Take my word for it: the man knows how to refine.)

For another thing, it's an easy read. The text is conversational-it's almost like Doug is sitting across the table from you, explaining just why robustness analysis is so critical. A "big picture" diagram, which captures the approach in a nutshell, keeps popping up, so you always know where the current topic of discussion sits with regard to the other topics. Best of all, there's a cool example that runs all the way through the book; you can see plenty of details about the associated thought process, including the false starts and errors in judgment along with the successes.

And, the book is fun, and funny. Our attitude is that a development project should be at least a little fun, and so should a book that helps you do the project. So, we show how you how to avoid being crushed under the weight of a "cement collar," getting bogged down in analysis of a morass of "light bulb objects," and straying too far from your customers by indulging in "premature patternization." (We can't help you if your equilibrium gets punctuated, though.) We'd like to think that the story about the truck-drivin', beer-swillin' Billy Bob, which we use in conclusively demonstrating that a requirement is not a use case, is worth the price of admission on its own. (Look for our next book to be an expanded version of Billy Bob's saga, a modern-day update of Dickens, set in the heart of Texas: Our Mutual Redneck Friend.)

All that, and only one sentence about Microsoft in the whole book. What's not to like?

Seriously, we hope that you buy the book (many, many copies of the book, actually) and use it for all of your projects. We're eager to hear success stories. In the meantime, thanks for reading.

Kendall Scott

ICONIX Software Engineering, Inc./2800 28th Street, Suite 320/Santa Monica, CA 90405/Tel (310)458-0092/Fax (310)396-3454/email: marketing@iconixsw.com