Web dev at the end of the world, from Hveragerði, Iceland

I’m available as a consultant and for coaching. I also have a book out.

The response to Out of the Software Crisis has been amazing

I’m amazed and flattered by the positive response that my book Out of the Software Crisis has been getting.

Post by David Larlet that quotes the book 'Software is the insights of the development team made manifest. Software has no life on its own but exists as a kind of cyborg simultaneously in the programmers and the code. […] The insights and knowledge that exist in the minds of the developers are how software lives, changes, and grows.' Then adds 'The only issue so far with @baldur's book is  how distracted I am by the typography. It's a bit too good 😅'

Post by Chris saying 'I've bought your book based solely on the extract about the business value of unit testing on the website. I read that and thought 'YES! At last! Someone's said it.' and wondered what else you have to say. I'm looking forward to reading it. :)

Strypey quoting the book 'Software is the insights of the development team made manifest. Software has no life on its own but exists as a kind of cyborg simultaneously in the programmers and the code. To reuse Donna Haraway’s words, software is simultaneously fiercely material and irreducibly imaginary.' then adds 'Oh f$&k yes @baldur ! Bang on, and beautifully put. Next time I see anyone complain about a software project having a CoC, they get a copy of that.'

Nolan Lawson saying 'Out of the Software Crisis by @baldur is a great book and well worth the read. Highly quotable, and really challenged my view of software development in a few places. Too many great quotes, but here's one that hit me in the gut: 'Truly catastrophic software failures rarely get discovered in a sprint review or shipping retrospectives. The serious bugs that induce panic attacks only appear once the software is distributed widely enough to begin to experience edge cases. Most of the time, that only happens long after the software development team has moved on and marked the project as successful or challenged.'

Alpha Chen saying 'Programming as Theory Building is one of my favorite papers, and @baldur's riff on it here is also great. That book is definitely going on my readlist. (Hopefully I'll actually get around to reading it eventually...)'

Ben Walker writing: 'Just finished @baldur’s new book “Out of the Software Crisis”. It’s a whistle-stop tour of the history and current state of #software development, and an intro to systems thinking. Very relatable if you’re a #webdev, and has inspired me to read more…'

And that’s just the response over on Mastodon.

If you’re curious about it and want to get a sense of what the book is like, I’ve published a few lightly edited extracts from it here:

I’ve also added a couple of bonus essays as a bonus ebook that all buyers, past, present, and future, get for free.

  • “The Collapse of Complex Companies”: about the inherent instability of large and complex software companies.
  • “Failure demand: when mistakes improve your metrics”: about how unproductive work can sometimes have a statistical footprint that’s identical to productive work.

You can find out more about the book on the main book website: Out of the Software Crisis


Out of the Software Crisis

Out of the Software Crisis by Baldur Bjarnason

Software projects keep failing, not because we don’t have the right team or tools but because our software development system is broken. Out of the Software Crisis is a guide to fixing your software projects with systems-thinking making them more resilient to change and less likely to fail.

Systems-Thinking For Software Projects

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