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The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering (1974)

by Frederick P. Brooks

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,457423,661 (4.07)15
These essays draw from Brooks' experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice. -- from publisher description.… (more)
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» See also 15 mentions

English (40)  Danish (1)  Russian (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
I read this as an EE teaching a class on microcontrollers which has me going outside of my hardware comfort zone. The text was interesting, if I didn't mind cringing at all the male pronouns and references to god. (Which was a LOT of cringing.) ( )
  lemontwist | Sep 4, 2023 |
I read this just after publication, and was absorbed in the story. I was lucky enough to get to work on the first IBM 360 computers (which this story is about) and it was so very relevant to my work. And it was a fine tome on management. ( )
  jjbinkc | Aug 27, 2023 |
Good essence with many interesting lessons that still hold true. However, I fell most of it is only interesting from an historical perspective as so much has changed in the field. ( )
  zeh | Jun 3, 2023 |
This book was written in the sixties, yet, I find its recommendations and requirements for software development are just as helpful, humorous and educational in the 21st century. I still don't understand how they got any work done back then with manually teletypes, printed requirements documents being updated everyday and the like, but they still had the exact same problems we do now.

The two things I took away most, "the more people you add to a late project, the later the project is." Along with the title of the mythical man month, is the idea "nine women can't make a baby in a month." The other point, was that whatever your estimate is for development time, you need to consider at least twice as much for validation. This is counter intuitive, you develop it once, you test it once, and that test takes less time than writing code did, but there is so much more. The covers testing for each release, it covers finding regressions later, and any other issue that may be written against that piece of code that wasn't exposed when it was first authored. These good testers make bug fixing much easier. ( )
  fulner | May 28, 2023 |
This has held up amazingly well for a book about software engineering written in 1975. Fred Brook's insight into human behaviour is still spot-on even though the technical details can be amusing when you realize that their mainframe had less storage capacity than an RFID tag… ( )
  acdha | Mar 21, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brooks, Frederick P.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knight, C. R.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication of the 1975 edition:
To two who especially enriched my IBM years:
Thomas J. Watson, Jr.,
whose deep concern for people still permeates his company,
and
Bob O. Evans,
whose bold leadeship turned work into adventure.
Dedication of the 1995 edition
To Nancy,
God's gift to me.
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No scence from prehistory is quite so vivid as that of the mortal struggles of great beasts in the tar pits.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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These essays draw from Brooks' experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice. -- from publisher description.

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