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Suggested Reading

Here's a list of the books I think you'll find the most useful for the purposes of this module. Click here to skip down to the book descriptions.

Reading the books

The thing about reading lists is that they include far more than you're ever likely to be able to read (unless you just love reading text books!). The only books I would beg you to read in full are the Mythical Man-Month and Software Requirements and Specifications. I think you'll find them quite easy going and you should be able to manage a chapter a night in bed at least. They will broaden your perspective and help to plug the gaps. The book is insightful and humorous. I hope you would enjoy it.

Second, the trick with the rest of these books is not to read them cover to cover, but to dip into them to get extra information on specific topics. 

Pressman: Software Engineering

Pressman's is one of those books which you will have found useful on many modules prior to this and I include it because it gives a nice overview of the area without too much mind numbing detail. Chapters 2,3 & 4 cover the sort of material that you have done with Dr Akomode and I imagine you will find these chapters helpful for revision purposes.

Chapter 7 gives an overview of Structured Analysis (similar to my first couple of lectures). Chapters 10, 11, 12 & 13 will give you an overview of where the various system design methods are coming from.

Davies & Layzell: Jackson System Development

The Davies & Layzell book will fill in the gaps in JSD should you find that the lectures do not explain things in sufficient detail.

Other books

As for the other books, well they're there as reference sources. I can't possibly cover all the details in a lecture course. So, what I try to do is deal with the ideas, philosophies and arguments in class and leave you to find out any details you think you need.

Again, don't just read from page 1 to the end, but think about what we have discussed in the lectures, look at the tutorial questions and if you have any trouble with answering them, then dip into these books to clarify points of detail. The key is the exercises I set each week. These are the sorts of questions you will be asked about in the examination. If you look closely, you will see that I'm not so much interested in the minutiae of detail but in the big picture, that is, the ideas, rationales etc.

Remember, I'm happy to keep receiving your answers to the tutorial questions and will answer any queries you may have about them. Those questions are what will help you to learn the subject.

Buying the books

Clicking on the cover picture will take you to the Internet Book Shop who do quite good discounts (I've shown IBS's approximate price below the cover picture). Some books are not listed by IBS and instead I have a link to Amazon. If the price is shown in red then this means the title is out of print and cannot be obtained from IBS. Please note, the printed prices are only a guide to the price that IBS is likely to charge. Make sure before you complete any purchase that you are happy with the price. Some books come in different versions that vary widely in price. I accept no responsibility or liability for the transactions.

Borrowing from the library

I have also included the JMU Library Class Number to help you find these books in the JMU LRCs (you know, the libraries in ARC1 and ARC2).

How I have rated them

The rating system I have used is simply to indicate the relative usefulness of each book to the module; you should not interpret the rating as an indication of how good the book is. You really should ensure you have at least read the 4 and 5 star rated books. A low rating does not mean it's a bad book, merely that it provides supplementary information that is not mandatory to know. Of course, you will read all the books on this list! For examination purposes, I will assume you have read them all (you don't have to buy them to read them - try going to the library).

 

Michael Jackson - Problem Frames
c.£23.00

Jackson, M.A., Problem Frames: Analysing and Structuring Software Development Problems, ACM Press, 2000

Comments
Looks at ways of classifying problems to allow decomposition in a non-functional way.

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Not in the library yet

 

Roger Pressman - Software Engineering
c.£22.00

Pressman, R., Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach, McGraw-Hill, 1996 (4th edition)

Comments
You ought to have read this book by now. If not, do so. It covers a wide range of topics in the field of software development. Very readable. Will give you a good grasp of the subject.

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005.1 PRE
ARC2

 

Fred Brooks - The Mythical Man Month
c.£15.00

Brooks, Frederick P., The Mythical Man Month, Addison Wesley, 1995.

Comments
A cracking read. Essential!

There are two versions, the anniversary edition and this one. The anniversary edition has more in it, but is more expensive

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005.1 BRO
ARC2

 

Buy on-line
c.£9.00

Davies, C. & Layzell, P.J., The Jackson Approach to System Development, Chartwell-Bratt, 1993

Comments
An excellent overview of the Jackson philosophy and approach to program and system development. Gets the principles of JSD over nicely. Reasonably priced, too.

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004.21 DAV
ARC2

 

Michael Jackson - Software Requirements & Specification
c.£19.00

Jackson, Michael. A., Software Requirements and Specification:A Lexicon of Software Practice Principles, and Prejudices , ACM Press, 1995

Comments
Compelling reading. Organisation makes it easy to dip in and out of. Not a text book as such and is filled with some real gems. Go and read it now!!!

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005.12 JAC
ARC2

 

Avison & Fitzgerald - Information Systems Development
c.£23.00

Avison, D.E. & Fitzgerald, G., Information Systems Development: Methodologies, Techniques and Tools, McGraw-Hill, 1995

Comments
Gives an overview of several software systems design methods. A good starting point for a general overview of the field. Recommended.

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003 AVI
ARC1 & ARC2

 

Alistair Sutcliffe - Jackson System Development
c.£30.00

Yourdon Inc., Yourdon Systems Method: Model-Driven Systems Development, Prentice Hall International, 1993

Comments
A complete coverage of Ed Yourdon's popular system design method. You should certainly aim to have a look at this.

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Not in JMU libraries!

 

Clive Finkelstein - An Introduction to Information Engineering
c.£44.00

Finkelstein, Clive, An Introduction to Information Engineering: From Strategic Planning to Information Systems, Addison-Wesley, 1989

Comments
Another book about a specific method, this time Information Engineering. If you want details about the method, then here's the place to look.

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003 FIR/ 003 FIN
ARC1 & ARC2

 

Michael Jackson - System Development
£67.95

Jackson, Michael. A., System Development, Prentice Hall International, 1983, ISBN 0138803285

Comments
JSD from the horse's mouth. Not for the faint hearted, but if you want to go back to the roots, then this is the place to start.

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003 JAC
ARC1 & ARC2

 

Alistair Sutcliffe - Jackson System Development
£27.95

Sutcliffe, Alistair, Jackson System Development, Prentice Hall International, 1988, ISBN 0135081289

Comments
A thorough book on JSD though not as readble as Davies & Layzell.

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003 SUT
ARC2

 

King & Pardoe - Program Design Using JSP
£16.99

King, M.J. & Pardoe, J.P., Program Design Using JSP: A Practical Introduction, MacMillan, 1992 (second edition)

Comments
If you need refreshing on Jackson Structured Programming, then this is the ideal book.

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005 KIN
ARC2

 

Michael Jackson - Principles of Program Design
c.£50.00

Jackson, Michael. A., Principles of Program Design, Academic Press, 1975

Comments
Believe it or not, still available. This is where it all started! Worth a look. Not sure you should buy it though.

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005.12 JAC
ARC2

 

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