Book by Stevens professor enthusiastically reviewed

Reviewer recommends book to all who aspire to become managers

Trustworthy Systems Through Quantitative Software Engineering (IEEE Computer Society Press, 2005), written by Lawrence Bernstein, an Industry Research Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stevens Institute of Technology, and C.M. Yuhas, recently received an enthusiastic review and recommendation. Mordechai Ben-Menachem, of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Ben-Gurion University (Beer-Sheva, Israel), writing in ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, recommends the book to "any manager and anyone who aspires to be a manager." The review is below:

"This book examines the issues concerning engineering of major software systems and software-rich, embedded systems. However, much beyond that, the issues are examined with the concept of 'trust' uppermost in ones mind. I think Professor Bernstein's decision to place this as the foremost aspect of his book is a landmark decision and should be treated with the (great) respect that it deserves. The subjects, trustworthiness and quantitative software engineering, is very difficult. As far as I can tell, every aspect of them seems to have been covered. It is certainly not the first time that such a book has appeared.

However, it is one of the most readable that I have seen. All analysts need to look at quantitative aspects of what they propose to do and how they propose for it to be done – if they don't they are certainly amateurs and not professionals. However, it is unfortunately rare for this to be done well as very few technical analysts have the quantitative training to do so in an accomplished manner. Nor is this need confided 'only' to those installations that need to use models such as the CMMI. The need always exists for good management and this book is an aid to such that ought to be considered. Additionally, those interested in 'Agile' methods also need to examine this. Agile is a method of managing projects, not of ignoring them. Well run agile organizations use metrics just as much as others do.

"The author claims that quantitative aspects must be analyzed methodically and well assured, from estimating, designing and planning the system, as an integral part of the system solution, from the very beginning. I certainly concur. Following the steps defined by the book will help to both analyze your choices and aid to improve system and project performance.

"The book is as well designed as it is well written. I have discovered no part of the book that could be called obtuse or indifferently written. An obviously great effort has been expended to do his job well. The book is well illustrated, with graphs, charts and examples. The book is designed as a textbook and may be used for courses on quantitative Software Engineering, Systems Engineering and industrial engineering.

"If there are aspects where I think the authors missed a bit, it would be in one item. They use a writing trick for making important things stand out, by giving it a 'name' and putting it in a box. They call these 'Magic Numbers.' This is both cute and effective. However, the quantity got a bit difficult to follow after a short while. Magic numbers need to be magic, for that, they need to be rare. Tens of them, makes it very difficult to find the ones that one needs, now – admittedly, not a major failing.

"The book has really good aspects and the author obviously knows the subject well. I very much recommend the book for any manager and anyone who aspires to be a manager. Every software engineering curricula would be improved by adoption of this book."

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About Stevens Institute of Technology
Established in 1870, Stevens offers baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees in engineering, science, computer science, management and technology management, as well as a baccalaureate in the humanities and liberal arts, and in business and technology. Located directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan, the university has enrollments of approximately 1,780 undergraduates and 2,700 graduate students, and a current enrollment of 2,250 online-learning students worldwide. Additional information may be obtained from its web page at www.Stevens.edu.

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