Issue No. 06 - June (2004 vol. 37)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2004.13
Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products, Jim Highsmith. This book brings together the knowledge and resources developers need to use agile project management. The author addresses questions project managers raise about agile approaches and shows why APM should be in every manager's toolkit. He systematically introduces the five-phase APM framework, then presents specific, proven tools for every project participant.
Topics covered include the six principles of agile project management; how to capitalize on emerging product development technologies; putting customers where they belong, at the center of a project; creating adaptive teams that respond quickly to changes in a project's ecosystem; APM's five phases—envision, speculate, explore, adapt, and close; and scaling APM to larger projects and teams.
Addison-Wesley; www.awprofessional.com; 0-321-21977-5; 312 pp.; $34.99.
Mobile Disruption: The Technologies and Applications Driving the Mobile Internet, Jeffrey L. Funk. A disruptive technology or innovation causes worse than expected product performance or performance that differs from that which its designers expected. For example, developers thought Internet-accessible mobile phones would serve as a portable substitute for the PC. Yet the performance of mobile Internet technologies so far has differed greatly from this expectation.
The author explores the roots of this disruption by first examining the key technological trends driving mobile computing. He then turns his attention to mobile marketing, shopping services, navigation services, phones as tickets and money, mobile intranet applications, and platform strategy. Later chapters describe the business models and key technologies readers can use to create long-term mobile Internet strategies that can be profitable in both the short and long term.
Wiley-Interscience; www.wiley.com; 0-471-51122-6; 211 pp.; $54.95.
The Success of Open Source, Steven Weber. Much of the innovative programming that powers the Internet, creates operating systems, and produces software has resulted from freely distributed open source code. Such code has generated sophisticated developments in computer technology, including Linux and Apache, which pose a significant challenge to Microsoft. The author describes how open source's success in a highly competitive industry has subverted many assumptions about how businesses should be run and how intellectual products should be created and protected.
Despite the conventional wisdom that the promise of individual and corporate wealth has driven innovation, ensuring free distribution of code among computer programmers can empower a more effective process for building intellectual products. In the case of open source, independent programmers—sometimes hundreds or thousands of them—make unpaid contributions to software that develops organically, through trial and error.
The author argues that the success of open source does not constitute a freakish exception to economic principles. Standards, rules, decision-making procedures, and sanctioning mechanisms guide the open source community.
Harvard University Press, www.hup.harvard.edu; 0-674-01292-5; 320 pp.; $29.95.
Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots, Roland Siegwart and Illah R. Nourbakhsh. This book offers an overview of the technology of mobility—the mechanisms that let a mobile robot move through a real-world environment to perform its tasks—including locomotion, sensing, localization, and motion planning. It describes all facets of mobile robotics, including hardware design, wheel design, kinematics analysis, sensors and perception, mapping, and robot control architectures.
The design of any successful robot involves the integration of many disciplines, among them kinematics, signal analysis, information theory, artificial intelligence, and probability theory. Reflecting this, the book presents the techniques and technology that enable mobility in a series of interacting modules. Each chapter covers a different aspect of mobility, as the book moves from low- to high-level details. Bringing together all aspects of mobile robotics into one volume, this book can serve as a textbook for course work or a working tool for beginners in the field.
MIT Press; mitpress.mit.edu; 0-262-19502-X; 331 pp.; $50.00.