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Release It! by Michael T. Nygard

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The Scope of the Challenge

The “software crisis” is now more than thirty years old. According to the gold owners, software still costs too much. (But, see Why Does Software Cost So Much? [DeM95] about that.) According to the goal donors, software still takes too long—even though schedules are measured in months rather than years. Apparently, the supposed productivity gains from the past thirty years have been illusory.

On the other hand, maybe some real productivity gains have gone into attacking larger problems, rather than producing the same software faster and cheaper. Over the past ten years, the scope of our systems expanded by orders of magnitude.

In the easy, laid-back days of client/server systems, a system’s user base would be measured ...

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