For Bill Bowlus, who said, “Why don’t you write it?”

For my wife, who said, “Sure, I’ll edit it.”

You’ve picked up a best practices book. It’s going to be dull. It might be interesting, informative, and perhaps even influential, but definitely dry and dull, right? Why?

Best practice books are dull because the “best” practice to use depends on the project, the people involved, their goals, and their preferences. Choosing one as “best” is a matter of opinion. The author must present the practices as choices, analyzing which to use when for what reasons. While this approach is realistic and responsible, it’s boring and unsatisfying. Case studies that remove ambiguity can spice up the text, but the author must still leave choices to the ...

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