I mentioned in an earlier post about a book I had on order called Coder to Developer - by Mike Gunderloy. That book arrived the next day and I've only just had some time to do some reading(while recovering from the flu the last few days).
I'm not sure sure how to classify this book, it's not a configuration management book as such, and it won't tell you how to write code. What it does attempt to do however, is show programmers how to become well rounded developers, by opening their eyes to the other things (other than coding that is) you need to do to deliver a project. The foreword by Joel Spolsky sums up the book quite nicely, it's about “moving you from a person who can write code to a person who can develop software“. Those of you who think they are the same thing can order your copy right now!
There are 15 chapters covering topics as diverse as Project Planning, Version Control, Unit Testing, Bug Tracking, Automated Builds, Installers and much more. Of course my favourite chapter is “Chapter 13, Mastering the Build Process”. Mike talks about the need for an automated build process, reasons why you would need it and then covers some of the more affordable build tools. FinalBuilder gets 2 pages of coverage including a screenshot (so do our competitors). Oh, and another Atozed product A to Z Project Billing gets a mention in Chapter 1 under Time & Billing Tools!
If you are already using version control, unit testing, automated builds, bug tracking etc then you probably don't need this book (although it might be worth a read just to give you and idea about the alternatives to the tools you already use). If you aren't then this book would be an excellent starting point. If you are moving from being a single developer to a team member in a small team, or you are establishing a small team then this book will be a great help in setting up your team development environment.
Considering the number of developers I've met over the years that don't even use version control, I can see the need for this book to have been written. It's the sort of book I wish I had read when I first started my programming career (when all I wanted to read at the time were books on C & C++). I found it to be an enjoyable read, the writing style is clear and concise and the coverage of each topic is complete enough (given that each chapter could have been a separate book themselves) to get you on your way to becoming a software developer rather than just a code cutter.