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Dreaming in Code

Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Their story takes us through a maze of dead ends and exhilarating breakthroughs as they and their colleagues wrestle not only with the abstraction of code but with the unpredictability of human behavior,
especially their own. Along the way, we encounter black holes, turtles, snakes, dragons, axe-sharpening, and yak-shaving—and take a guided tour through the theories and methods, both brilliant and misguided, that litter the history of software development, from the famous “mythical man-month” to Extreme Programming. Not just for technophiles but for anyone captivated by the drama of invention, Dreaming in Code offers a window into both the information age and the workings of the human mind.

From the Hardcover edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Oct 23, 2006 – Software is easy to make, except when you want it to do something new," Rosenberg observes—but the catch is that "the only software worth making is software that does something new." This two-tiered insight comes from years of observing a team led by Mitch Kapor (the creator of the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet) in its efforts to create a "personal information manager" that can handle to-do lists as easily as events scheduling and address books. Rosenberg's fly-on-the-wall reporting deftly charts the course taken by Kapor's Open Source Applications Foundation, while acknowledging that every software programmer finds his or her own unique path to a brick wall in the development process. (The software is still in development even now.) With equal enthusiasm, Rosenberg digs into the history of the computer industry's efforts to make programming a more efficient process. Though there's a lot of technical information, it's presented in very accessible terms, primarily through the context of project management. Even readers whose computer expertise ends at retrieving their e-mail will be able to enjoy digressions into arcane subjects like object-oriented programming.

Customer Reviews

Must read for devs

This is a great book. The story interweaves between progress on an open source project that started in the early 2000s and some general computer programming history.

As a developer myself, I read this book while working on my first app and it gave me more than a few insights. (More of what not to do really)

You really kind of feel for the Chanlder team and if you’re a developer and reading this, you’ll have more than a few “Oh poop” moments.

Dreaming in Code
View In iTunes
  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Computers
  • Published: Jan 16, 2007
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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