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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.4 out of 5
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All Book Reviews

  • Don't like DRM ? Buy the printed edition

    Just a reminder, this book is protected by DRM. As a linux user, I regret my purchase...

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    5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Good stuff

    Week with reading for anyone in development, IT, or business.

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  • Weak story and a lot of magical thinking

    The book is a fad diet version of IT management, complete with the "you will lose 20kg within 2 weeks while eating everything you want" type of magical thinking. The book starts by setting a doomsday IT scenario, that over the course of a few weeks (literally!) gets turned around into a model organization. The path is to adopt a series of practices that magically solve everyone's problems, without realistic discussion of the real struggles that come with implementing change, and a balanced discussion of the pros and cons of the practices. In some cases even the way that some organizational changes address the specific problems of the fictional organization are not discussed at all, you just have to believe they somehow work. In terms of storytelling the book is weak as well, the characters are unidimensional and the story is built upon stereotypes of who IT people are and how they work, including for example: - The IT millionaire who is a jerk, dresses badly and shows to work on his own schedule; - The IT manager who wants things done "yesterday" and "using half the budget we estimated"; - The fat server guy; - The savant IT employee who can fix everything but cannot explain how he does it; - Getting stuff done in IT is locking up the team for the weekend with pizzas; - Etc. As a business moral tale, the book also includes subtle worrying undercurrents: - The disrespect for employees, contracts and working hours; - A machistic view of organizations, with the preponderance of men in management and fetishization of military hierarchy; - Money as the be-all-and-end-all. The IT methodology is good because ultimately it put money in the hands of Parts Unlimited's shareholders; all the "good" characters in the end get their ultimate reward (for being believers) by getting a promotion to a more lucrative position within the company. In summary: it is no coincidence the book is named after a mythical beast. The book does do a good job of including a great deal of IT mythology in its story, just don't expect a compelling story or thought through business insights.

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