IEEE Computer Volume 16 Number 5 -- BOOK REVIEWS
Original Publication Date: 1983-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Software Patent Institute
True Seaborn: AUTHOR [+3]
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Software Engineering Economics
-- Barry W. Boehm, (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1981, 767pp., $32.50)
Software Engineering Economics is an excellent text. Such a book, in my mind, has been long overdue. My congratulations and gratitude go to Boehm for writing such a book.
Although written primarily for use as a senior- college/first-year-graduate textbook, this material will also be valuable to software engineering professionals, technical managers, R&D administrators -- just about anyone -- interested in understanding the nature and complexity of large-scale software product development and the associated engineering processes.
At a time when software engineering activity has been experiencing rapid growth and billions of dollars are being invested in developing software, it is essential that students and professionals acquire competence not only in the technical apsects of the field but also in human, social, and economic concerns. It is this latter need that has motivated Boehm to write the text and to emphasize that an economically efficient or an optimized solution to software engineering problems may not be the best solution. Neglecting nonquantifiable human, social, and sociopolitical charactistics of the problem could result in disastrous consequences. The case study examples, which serve as Chapters I and 2 ("Scientific American Subscription Processing" and "School Attendance System"), emphatically prove the author's contention.
The book has been divided into four parts. Boehm begins by presenting the motivation, context, and framework for the understanding of software engineering from an econoplist's perspective. He advocates that software engineering economics be a combination of human economics and material economics.
In Parts II and IV he develops a quantitative software life-cycle model, called the Constructive Cost Model, or Cocomo. (Part II deals with economic analysis techniques available for analyzing software project cost-e...