Software Design Decoded - 66 Ways Experts Think

Marian Petre and André van der Hoek

Published by

MIT Press





Reviewed by

Patrick Hill BSc(Hons) MSc PhD CEng MBCS CITP


10 out of 10

There are innumerable books which describe various technical aspects of, and approaches to software design. This book, in contrast, is wholly non-technical.

Despite its title, the book doesn’t describe how to design software. Instead it provides a collection of observations which describe general approaches, attributes and attitudes of experienced software designers. The authors have collected and distilled these observations from years of study of expert software designers at work.

Each observation is described in a short, pithy paragraph often with an accompanying sketch which captures the essence of the observation.

This is a great little book. It is physically small, and is laid out with one observation or illustration to a page. Consequently, it doesn’t take long to read the book in its entirety. However, it is the sort of book that readers will often return to. The content, while in itself brief, is relevant, profound and thought provoking, serving to reinforce what the reader is currently doing right, and implicitly suggesting ways in which current practice may be improved. As such, I’d recommend this to software designers at all stages of their career.

Further information: MIT Press

January 2017