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Friday, January 30, 2009

Book Review - Eating the IT Elephant

Interesting title and very interesting book, even if written by IBM people ;)

The authors (Richard Hopkins and Kevin Jenkins) are explaining that most of the methodologies and tools today are used for greenfield development. But, most of us have to cope with what they call brownfield development (could also be called sustainable IT). Brownfield development means that you have to make your legacy system evolve over time and to support several stata of technologies and architecture.

This book points out the bias between greenfield and brownfield development and the impacts on the way to manage your IT. The authors identify the root of the problem as that of complexity and proposes some patterns and good practices to "eat the elephant one bit at a time". Of course architecture is considered as the solution.

Efficient tooling is also needed to build an elephant eater. But the book falls short to provide effective solutions. Only future directions are discussed.

A must read anyway.

Eating the IT elephant
Moving from Greenfield Development to Brownfield
Richard Hopkins and Kevin jenkins
IBM Press, 2008.