Back in the mid-1990s, I wrote and published Pitfalls of Object-Oriented Development (M&T Books, 1995). The book captured lessons learned from five years of full-time commercial software development using object-oriented technology, as well as cautions and observations gleaned from books and articles on the subject. Shortly after the book went into publication, I started plans to do a second edition, but M&T Books lost interest in the book itself and let it go out of print, which (according to the publishing agreement) meant that the publication rights reverted back to me.
In the twelve years since Pitfalls came out, most of my professional career has been focused on why information technology (IT) projects fail (and succeed). I have conducted reviews of major IT projects within corporations, some with budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars. In some cases, after presenting my findings, I have then been asked to help get the project back on track.
In 1999, PricewaterhouseCoopers recruited me to join their Dispute Analysis & Investigation group, specifically to act as a consulting and testifying expert in litigation involving information technology, including what we termed “IT systems failure” lawsuits. As part of my work there, I reviewed documents for over 120 such lawsuits covering a 25-year period, then wrote a white paper identifying common patterns in these lawsuits, which I’ve posted at length on this site. I spent two years at PwC, then set up my own firm to continue both with my consulting work and my expert witness services. During these past several years, I have continued to serve as a consulting/testifying expert in lawsuits involving disputed, troubled or failed IT projects, in some cases with budgets over $1 billion.
As a result, I decided a few years back that a second edition of Pitfalls focused solely on object-oriented development would be of less use than a more comprehensive work focused on all aspects of modern software engineering and IT project management. So this book project has now become Pitfalls of Modern Software Engineering (PMSE for short, pronounced “PimSee”). PMSE will follow the format of the original Pitfalls, but will cover a wider range of topics.
As I work on PMSE, I will post individual pitfalls here on this website for discussion and feedback. ..bruce w..
About the Author: bfwebsterWebster is Principal and Founder at at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the BYU Computer Science Department. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at 720.895.1405 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Pitfall: Adopting a new technology or methodology for the wrong reason : Webster & Associates LLC | February 25, 2008
- Pitfall: Thinking a new technology or methodology comes for free. : Webster & Associates LLC | February 26, 2008
- Pitfall: Thinking a new technology or methodology will solve all your IT problems : Webster & Associates LLC | February 27, 2008
- Pitfall: Thinking a new techology or methodology is mature : Webster & Associates LLC | February 28, 2008
- Pitfall: Confusing tools with principles : Webster & Associates LLC | March 25, 2008
- Pitfall: Getting religious about the technology or methdology : Webster & Associates LLC | April 14, 2008
- Pitfall: Not recognizing the politics of architecture : Webster & Associates LLC | April 15, 2008
- Pitfall: Confusing approach with results : Webster & Associates LLC | April 26, 2008
- Pitfall: Betting the company on a given technology or methodology : Webster & Associates LLC | April 26, 2008
- Pitfall: Getting on the feature release treadmill : Webster & Associates LLC | April 26, 2008
- Pitfall: Asking the wrong questions : Webster & Associates LLC | April 27, 2008
- The Wetware Crisis: TEPES : Bruce F. Webster | April 29, 2008
- The Wetware Crisis: the Dead Sea effect : Bruce F. Webster | April 29, 2008
- w. webster | April 3, 2010