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Publisher's Summary

Their story takes us through a maze of dead ends and exhilarating breakthroughs as they and their colleagues wrestle not only with the abstraction of code but with the unpredictability of human behavior, especially their own. Along the way, we encounter black holes, turtles, snakes, dragons, axe-sharpening, and yak-shaving - and take a guided tour through the theories and methods, both brilliant and misguided, that litter the history of software development, from the famous "mythical man-month" to Extreme Programming.

Not just for technophiles but for anyone captivated by the drama of invention, Dreaming in Code offers a window into both the information age and the workings of the human mind.

©2007, 2008 Scott Rosenberg (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    83
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fine for non coders

The story is really just talking about the pit falls of a big coding project. If you've ever undertaken one of your own you can skip this book. I had high hopes for it but was left underwhelmed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

A must read for programmers, software developers..

What made the experience of listening to Dreaming in Code the most enjoyable?

This book will make any programmer who's worked on professional projects realize if he or she didn't know already... you are not alone. This book "gets it." and gets it in a way that's entertaining for the most part and gives just enough detail to make sense even to the non-programmer.

What did you like best about this story?

The slid in explanations of computer science concepts as they pertain to the story.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

His voice is a little harsh sometimes. He wouldn't be a good smooth jazz dj let's just say.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Nostalgic

Excellent summarization and detailed insight into the realm of software development both past and present.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Surprisingly good

I bought the book on a recommendation, and somehow I thought it was going to be a surreal fictional take on software development. It's not, it's an interesting true story about a very difficult software project (a PIM, personal information manager). Lots of interesting tidbits about the history and philosophy of software. It might be boring for software developers (not sure, it might be interesting), and will quite likely be boring for someone with no interest in software. But if you're interested in software and not that knowledgeable, I would say read it. I really liked it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Irena
  • Rishon LeZion, Israel
  • 02-24-13

Overwhelmingly boring

I don't recommend this book if you are a software engineer or manager, or any other kind of insider in the software development. You'll find little useful or interesting information here and lots of annoying demagogy. The only informative places were those that quoted books and articles on the matter written by professionals. However, the author did have one true epiphany: at the middle of the book he wrote that if the reader were a software engineer, he probably had thrown his book into the other corner of the room by then. I would have done the same if it wasn't an audio book. By the way, the reader of an audio book suited the overall annoying and dilettante tone very well by over-dramatizing every single sentence.

I can't see how outsiders can be interested in this book either: the detailed agony over databases, widgets' libraries and GUI design that is so familiar to software developers must be pretty boring to anybody else.

The only audience I can recommend this book to are journalists that don't know much about the matter but nevertheless want to come up with an "insightful" book about software development.

14 of 21 people found this review helpful

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No value here.

This book drones on and on about the history of a team that couldn't make decisions or come to consensus. It makes the false claim that programmers are autistic and anti-social by nature. Additionally, it offers no reasonable insight into putting together a good team or avoiding the pitfalls this team faced.

Skip this one.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I've listened to it twice in 3 months.

really interesting read well written, well explained. Especially if you write software. anyone working in the development of world would enjoy this book.

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  • Story

Tragic, but true.

As a long time I.T. admin recently turned software developer, I found this book to be both enlightening and cringe worthy.

It's a cautionary tale about a group of talented, idealistic developers who bit off more than they could chew. I'm also working on an ambitious software project so this book was especially disturbing.

The biggest value in reading this, to me, was in the myriad quotes, tidbits, anecdotes, and insights peppered throughout. I learned a lot from reading this, even though it was difficult and I had to put it down a couple times. I'm glad I stuck with it, as the last 3/4 was the best part and deserves its own book.

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  • Story

relatable and not too technical

this book shows the human side of creating a new killer app. the book does it in ways that are easy to understand while introducing many interesting people just to keep you sucked in. I have a few problems with some of the opinions he expressed, and he made a mistake explaining the halting problem, but aside those minor gripes, this book was a great read!

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  • Story

Broad overview of software industry

This book does a good job of referencing many notabled thinkers and writers about software, from Fred Brooks to Joel Spoelsky.

The listener should have plenty of other authors and books to explore after listening to this one.

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  • Skootaman
  • 01-10-15

Really enjoyed but probably not for everyone

I really enjoyed this book. It gives quite an insight into software development in a particular stage in the evolution of this internet that remains pretty familiar today. It's a history lesson, a lesson in product design and an overview of what underpins things like Agile. Probably (definitely) not for everyone but this is one I couldn't stop listening to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • jeffrey
  • 02-09-13

Definitely for geeks or engineers

A good story about the issues faced with large software development projects. Being a project manager I was able to relate, but would think that those not familiar with these universal issues would not appreciate this book as much. A bit confounded about how many man hours went into developing this product, which is just another calender with less capability than most on the market today.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Heather
  • 03-25-15

(Appears to do) a good job of explaining software

I'm a programmer so it's not easy for me to put my self in the lay persons shoes, but this book feels like it does a good job of explaining why you're software crashes to a non-technical audience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Raymond
  • 11-21-17

A must read for anyone working in IT

Really enjoyed this book, really gave me an insight and more understanding of the complexities of software delivery. A must read for anyone working on a Software project

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  • Loughlin
  • 07-21-16

Ms. Chanandler Bong

This was a very interesting book. Perhaps a little too much detail on OSAF's Chandler as I found the vignettes relating to other developers' projects a little more interesting but overall very well performed and very interesting.

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  • Will
  • 01-07-16

Interesting but frustrating

I found some of the concepts and the history of Development interesting, but I found the story around 'chandler' frustrating (I work in software development). I agree with the other reviews that this is how you don't want to develop software!

Again, I appreciate the author is trying to highlight the problems encountered in development so it achieves that, so full marks for that.

Definitely worth the read for project managers etc as it succinctly summarises key learnings in some other great books like the mythical man month.

I gave this a 3 overall because of how much it would me up, but the story highlights some important points and it's read well so 4 stars each there

  • Overall
  • Adrian
  • 02-25-13

Do the opposite and you'll do well

A good history lesson and one from which project managers should learn. Although I got the impression that there was a leaning towards the tales told in this book were "didn't they do well", I couldn't help but wince and cringe at the mistakes and lunacy. Please, if you are a project manager and work in software, get this, absorb it thoroughly and don't copy any of the ideas. Ever.

  • Overall
  • Rob
  • 04-13-13

Full of interesting stuff

I really enjoyed Dreaming In Code! Its full of both interesting and informative stories throughout. If you've ever worked on a non-trivial software project then i'm sure you'll find it easy to relate Scott has he guides you through the trials and tribulations of the Chandler PIM software project. You'll find that the issues Scott describes are very similar to the issues you face yourself daily as a software developer.



As well as being full of great stories, this book is also crammed full of software development history, with tales from way back in the early days of programming up to current day.



I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in software development/management. I'm sure you'll love it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 07-10-16

It was okay

The story was extremely interesting and valuable from a software development perspective, however the story itself was boring to listen to. For example, when characters in the book are excited or frustrated, the author just tells you that they're excited or frustrated, but doesn't succeed in making the listener feel that excitement or frustration for themselves. I wanted to 'feel' the story, not just hear it.