I’ve recently finished Software Craftsmanship, Passion and Purity, and The Prayer of Jesus. If for no other reason than that it might help to cement a few things in my own mind, I thought I’d put up a quick review on each.
Software Craftsmanship: the New Imperative
Author: Pete McBreen
bq. The idea [of good-enough software] is that it is possible to create feature-rich applications that are so valuable that the customer will forgive the mistakes that were made in creating it. Utter garbage. Bugs do not infect software in the way that colds infect people. Errors are made by developers as they design and develop software. (pg. 56)
For me, this was a head-nodder, the type of book one enjoys reading because it confirms, solidifies, and extends a set of ideas that have been rattling around in one’s brain for a while. The author starts by outlining three approaches to software development: software engineering, good-enough software, and software craftsmanship. After picking the first two apart, he insightfully and engagingly makes a case for the latter.
I cannot speak highly enough of this book. If you have written, do write, or might write software, read it. If someone else has written, is writing, or might write software for you, read it. My personal opinion is that the author is too easy on software engineering — I have yet to be convinced that there is a need for anything other than what he defines as craftsmanship. Thus, this is the best manifesto to date for a revolution that I sincerely hope occurs. If it does, you’ll want to have read it already.
Passion and Purity
Author: Elisabeth Elliot
bq. There was a tiny scrap of rainbow – just an end of ribbon in the clouds – and I knew that it was for me. It was a promise of good things. I could not see the other end, nor the great sweeping arc that reached high above the clouds that shadowed me, but I could see that bit and knew it spoke of His faithfulness, for He is faithful that promised. (pg. 74)
Wow. This is a book that flows from the heart. The author waited five years before marrying her husband, often only seeing him a few times a year. Here she chronicles the things the Lord taught her during those difficult yet blessed days while she waited on Him. Much of her purpose in writing the book was to uphold and illuminate the excellence of purity, a task well done, but another lesson oozes from the book: that of being all-consumed in the purposes of God. I found myself questioning my own dedication to Him and to His purposes for me. Am I willing to forgo all in order to follow Him?
The Prayer of Jesus: Secrets to Real Intimacy with God
Author: Hank Hanegraaff
bq. We must ever be mindful of the fact that the purpose of supplications is not to pressure God into providing us with provisions and pleasures, but rather to conform us to his purposes. (pg. 28)
Clearly an answer to The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson (which I also enjoyed), this book makes a good companion for it. While it’s title promises secrets, what we find, as is usually the case, is that the secret is in simply doing that which we know we ought to do. The Lord’s prayer is the framework on which the book hangs, and the author gives an exposition on each of its key phrases. Very short and readable and chock-full of good application, I was greatly encouraged to spend more time in prayer, and to focus more on the Person to whom I pray, and less on myself.