Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: It's Hidden Face: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Information Technology. a Look Behind the Scenes

It's Hidden Face: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Information Technology. a Look Behind the Scenes It's Hidden Face: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Information Technology. a Look Behind the Scenes by Claude Roeltgen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A (former) Chief Information Officer of a bank in Luxembourg provides an interesting view on the role of information technology nowadays. He states (quite correctly) that information technology is still very immature compared to, say, automobile industry. In particular, aspects of reliability and security are way behind what one can find in the other industries. I found author's comparisons to automobile world quite thought-provoking: one quote from the book is that "If the automotive had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside”.

It was also intriguing to read the author's sarcastic thoughts on software development by external vendors (an author is someone who has been ordering it from outsourced companies): for example different sales tricks that software developments contractors consistently use ("This is just a plug-and-play system!").

On the other hand, the author's sarcastic jokes, anecdotes from the past and off-topic chapters tend sometimes to override the serious messages of the book. The English translation of it (the original is in German) is perhaps not the best one either, as it does not always read that fluently.

Overall, an interesting read if one is trying to understand the scope of work of corporate CIOs.

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