The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

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Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 45 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice, both for readers already familiar with his work and for readers discovering it for the first time.

The added chapters contain (1) a crisp condensation of all the propositions asserted in the original book, including Brooks' central argument in The Mythical Man-Month: that large programming projects suffer management problems different from small ones due to the division of labor; that the conceptual integrity of the product is therefore critical; and that it is difficult but possible to achieve this unity; (2) Brooks' view of these propositions a generation later; (3) a reprint of his classic 1986 paper "No Silver Bullet"; and (4) today's thoughts on the 1986 assertion, "There will be no silver bullet within ten years."

Title:The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780201835953
Format Type:

    The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering Reviews

  • Daria

    Except blatant sexism* it was a pretty good book. It's a series of experiences that you gradually pick up when you're working in the software industry. It's a little outdated, e.g. we don't have print...

  • Manny

    In this classic book on the software development process, Fred Brooks demolishes several persistent myths. They never quite go away: every new generation just has to learn them over again. The first a...

  • David Bjelland

    As far as I can tell, the core tenets of this book aren't really even up for dispute anymore. I don't mean to sound like the grumpy reader mentioned in the epilogue, complaining that the book offered ...

  • Pratul

    I want to print many copies of this book.I want to print many copies and roll them up.I want to roll them up and take them to meetings with my clients. I want to take them to meetings and hit them ove...

  • Jan-Maat

    Since what I know about programming probably could be written on the back of a postcard and wouldn't be worth reading there's nothing worthwhile that I can say about the software engineering side of t...

  • Brian Yahn

    The Mythical Man-Month starts of strong--with a solid mix of good humor, great story-telling, and even better analogies and metaphors. Most interesting, the claims Frederick Brooks made more than 40 y...

  • Dorin Laz?r

    I was underwhelmed with how badly this text has aged. The references, which made sense 15 years ago, no longer hold water, and the most-referenced-project is certainly no longer the way we write softw...

  • Graham

    I read this book originally in college and then re-read it after a couple years of coding professionally. While there are certainly some dated sections, such as the idea of having the analog of a surg...

  • Bill

    I re-read this recently after recommending it to a colleague, mainly just for nostalgia and planning to read a few of the more popular essays, like "The Tar Pit." Instead I read the entire book again ...

  • Matt Diephouse

    I'm really surprised that people still recommend this book. It's primarily concerned with very large scale software projects (i.e., an operating system), much of the "data" is anecdotal, and many of t...