Monday, January 4, 2016

Winter Fun for Computer Science and Fiction Readers Alike: Gerald M. Weinberg Giveaway

Here's a different kind of contest. Gerald M. Weinberg, or Jerry as he is often called, is a longtime and well-respected computer scientist and fiction author. Some of his books are perennial bestsellers and he still wins awards for his contributions to his field. Not only are testing, quality, and consulting topics about which Jerry writes, but he also creates smart, interesting genre fiction, too. So here's how the contest works:

Use the form below to choose any or all of the four ways to enter. But first, make sure you're cool with Jerry getting your email address for an occasional email. (He will NEVER sell your info. Not in a million years.)

If you win, you can choose one book from this list of Gerald M. Weinberg's non-fiction and fiction works:
That's it! It's very easy, and easy to share, so I hope you will. We will announce the winner of this first round on Friday, then next Monday we'll do it all over again, so keep checking back both here on this blog or on my Twitter (or Jerry's Twitter)!


  1. Early on in my career as a software developer, I became frustrated with how often I would get software turned back to me that I was sure met the requirements that were given to me. I stumbled upon Mr. Weinberg's "Exploring Requirements" and learned how important good requirements are if you want to be successful in creating the right software. I blogged about my experience and was thrilled to have Mr. Weinberg notice my post and respond on my blog. Later, I read his "Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method". This helped me to gather nuggets of information that ultimately culminates in a larger piece. The stories he relays about his own writing are worth the read alone.

  2. Years ago, I was struggling at work. I felt that I had lots to offer, but no takers. In desperation, I reached out to James Bach. I introduced myself, explained my plight, and asked for guidance. James offered me plenty of helpful advice, including, “Read ‘The Secrets of Consulting’ by Jerry Weinberg“. Michael Bolton seconded this suggestion, adding, “Read it slowly. Savour it.” This particular piece of advice proved to be one of the most helpful, to me. In fact, I didn’t even make it through the Preface before I knew that it would be meaningful and useful to me. The book helped me learn how to “become rational about irrationality”. To this day, my work struggles continue. But now I’m better prepared to deal with it thanks to Jerry’s Secrets of Consulting.

  3. I have a whole blog post dedicated to my discovery and study of Jerry Weinberg's philosophy and methodologies:

    Below I excerpt reviews of some of the books offered in this brilliant contest.

    Becoming a Technical Leader
    * This is the book where I first learned of the concept of “survival rules”. Started working on transformation of my own.
    * Gained new perspectives on management with “MOI” model – Motivation-Organization-Innovation. Identified my own strengths and weakness – and set the self-development targets.

    Perfect Software and Other Illusions about Testing
    * This awesome book is not quite about testing techniques and methodologies. And yet, if I had to recommend only one book for reading on software testing, I’d suggest this one: because it makes you understand the purposes, the roles, and the context.
    * It also has great little stories that illustrate and help to understand. “Rose, The Test Manager” is an awesome role model.

    The Secrets of Consulting
    * This book is a precious collection of heuristics, experiences to learn and borrow from; applicable well beyond the common view of consulting.
    * As it’s always with the heuristics, becoming aware is just a first tiny step towards mastering them. I’ve taken advantage from some of them, like Rutabaga Rule, or Principle of Least Regret, or Orange Juice Test, or the Law of Raspberry Jam. I’m yet to try and practice the rest.

  4. I have over a dozen publications on that topic to my credit, adding to at last a couple of thousand pages, for NASA, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force...such as Software Interoperability and Reusability. Volume 2. Guidebook for Software Quality Measurement, P. E. Presson, Jultien Tsai, Thomas P. Bowen, and Jonathan V. Post

  5. I received my MS in Computer Systems under Jerry's direction in 1975. His training and mentoring led to a long, successful career in the computer consulting business. I'm now in a second career as a high school Social Studies teacher, and the systems thinking ideas I first learned from Jerry have carried over into my Educational Leadership studies as I pursue an Ed.D.