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Software Fundamentals: Collected Papers by David L. Parnas

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<pre>Author/s : Edited by David M. Weiss and Daniel M. Hoffman
Publisher : Addison-Wesley
Category : Project management, Process and Best Practices
Review by : Jessica Sant
Rating : 9 horseshoes
Anyone who considers themself a Java developer should know who Dave Parnas is. Without the insight of Dave Parnas in the 60s and 70s there would be no such thing as the Java programming language. Ever heard of information hiding (the basis for all Object Oriented programming)? Yeah, Parnas came up with that. Exception Handling? That's him too. Interfaces? Parnas. (Get the idea?)
This book reprints 33 of Parnas' most influential papers. Each paper is started off with an introduction from one of Parnas' peers (like Barry Boehm), giving the paper a connection to the modern state of Software Engineering, and trying to give the reader an understanding of just how seminal the particular paper was to the world of Computer Science and Software Engineering.
I believe you become a much better programmer if you understand where things come from. Once you understand how things were before "Information Hiding" came about, you get a better appreciation for why its such a necessary and important practice. You'll become a better programmer because you're more aware of what would happen if you didn't have exception handling. And you'll be come a better writer when you understand why buzzwords can be so dangerous in technical papers.
Dave Parnas has been a huge influence over the world of Software Engineering. Everyone should have the chance to read his work.

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