Book Review: Software Engineering at Google: Lessons Learned from Programming Over Time

Software Engineering at Google: Lessons Learned from Programming Over Time. I feel like this book gets less fanfare than the Google SRE books but it’s just as valuable. Like Google’s SRE books, this book has a mixture of useful information, wonderful explanations, and Google-flavored navel gazing.

What I liked: the first 16 chapters or so had me really engaged. I especially enjoyed the author’s clear definition of software engineering vs. programming/coding. Chapter 7 was very insightful about how a data driven process to measure engineering productivity.

What I didn’t like: the usual kool-aid you get from publications written by very large companies. While the authors admit that Google’s methods aren’t applicable everywhere (and not universally applied within Google), a lot of it felt particularly impractical especially in contrast to the earlier parts of the book.

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