‘Changing Times: Quality for Humans in a Digital Age’ is my first book. In this post I’ll answer a couple of important questions…
What is it about?
There are really two answers to this. Firstly, Changing Times is a book about a journalist called Kim Harris. Kim’s story is at the centre of everything we discuss. We see the part which technology plays in her life, how it affects her and those around her.
Secondly, it a book about quality; specifically, quality in software and technology.
The examples and stories in the book typically relate to the sort of technology we use in our everyday lives – websites, applications and devices which so many of us depend on in so much of what we do.
In discussing quality we consider the relationship between technology and people; the people who use technology and the feelings they can experience as a result, but also the people who create and maintain technology, and some of the challenges they face.
Some of the themes in the book include Agile and Lean methods in software development, Continuous Deployment, Human-Centered Design, Usability and Customer Experience. These themes are discussed with a focus on quality; what do they mean for the people who use products?
“Who is it for?”
‘Changing Times’ helps those of us who design, develop, support and maintain software (and other technology) to think about quality from a human perspective. Because of the field we work in, we can sometimes get caught up in the technical nature of our work, perhaps forgetting that the technology we create is ultimately intended to benefit people. We can lose sight of the humans at the centre of what we do. The stories and ideas in the book are designed to help us better understand what quality means to the people who use our products.
But it isn’t simply a book for people who work in software development. It is about, and for, humans, irrespective of their technical knowledge. We explore some of the reactions and feelings which we can all experience when using technology, and some of the different factors which can cause those feelings. The discussion of software development is in plain language, and will hopefully offer some insights into why the technology people use works the way it does (or sometimes doesn’t work the way we hoped).
You can read an excerpt from the book here