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IBM Rational Unified Process Reference and Certification Guide Solution Designer

by Ahmad K. Shuja and Jochen Krebs, Pearson Press publishing as IBM Press, Boston, Massachusetts, 2008. 307 pp., $39.99(paper). ISBN-13 978-0-13-156292-9

Reviewed by Charles Ashbacher, Charles Ashbacher Technologies, Hiawatha, IA, USA,

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The IBM Rational Unified Process (RUP) has become a de-facto standard for the development of large software projects. The RUP is very flexible, as it is composed of a series of operational plug-ins that allow organizations to select the modules that they can use to configure a process that matches their development needs and methodology. The purpose of this book is to step the reader through a series of explanations of the facets of the RUP with the goal being to prepare you for the RUP certification examination.

The first sections open with the six fundamental principles of RUP:

  • A - Adapt the process
  • B Balance competing stakeholder priorities
  • C Collaborate across teams
  • D Demonstrate value iteratively
  • E Elevate the level of abstraction
  • F Focus continuously on quality

These principles are a set of guidelines that should be posted on the wall of any room containing a set of software developers. They are truly a set of commandments that can only be broken at great risk to the project and are (re)mentioned several times in the book.

Each of the chapters ends with a short set of multiple choice review questions. Like all good quality multiple choice questions the distracters are close enough to the solution that you must think hard and deep before answering. Solutions to all questions are given at the end, although they are in the form of letters only. As a study guide, it would have been very helpful if the authors had included a brief explanation as to why the given solution(s) were superior to the other selections.

Geared towards reviewing the material in the IBM RUP certification exam, this book is a necessity if you are planning on taking the exam. Given that only 30% of the takers pass on their first try, the price of this book is cheap if it helps get you through the test. The value of RUP certification is significant, certainly worth earning if you work in or may join a development team that uses RUP. With courses introducing RUP two full days long and costing over $1,000 in tuition, examining this book is a logical first step in an action plan where the goal is RUP certification.

Charles Ashbacher: "IBM Rational Unified Process Reference and Certification Guide Solution Designer", in Journal of Object Technology, vol. 7, no. 6, July-August 2008, pp 53-54

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