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Mythical Man-Month, The: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition Paperback – 8 Aug. 1995
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- ASIN : 0201835959
- Publisher : Addison-Wesley; 2nd edition (8 Aug. 1995)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780201835953
- ISBN-13 : 978-0201835953
- Dimensions : 23.04 x 15.52 x 1.91 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 65,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
From the Back Cover
Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless asThe 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, 20 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."
About the Author
Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., was born in 1931 in Durham, NC. He received an A.B. summa cum laude in physics from Duke and a Ph.D. in computer science from Harvard, under Howard Aiken, the inventor of the early Harvard computers.
At Chapel Hill, Dr. Brooks founded the Department of Computer Science and chaired it from 1964 through 1984. He has served on the National Science Board and the Defense Science Board. His current teaching and research is in computer architecture, molecular graphics, and virtual environments.
He joined IBM, working in Poughkeepsie and Yorktown, NY, 1956-1965. He is best known as the "father of the IBM System/360", having served as project manager for its development and later as manager of the Operating System/360 software project during its design phase. For this work he, Bob Evans, and Erick Block were awarded and received a National Medal of Technology in 1985.
Dr. Brooks and Dura Sweeney in 1957 patented a Stretch interrupt system for the IBM Stretch computer that introduced most features of today's interrupt systems. He coined the term computer architecture . His System/360 team first achieved strict compatibility, upward and downward, in a computer family. His early concern for word processing led to his selection of the 8-bit byte and the lowercase alphabet for the System/360, engineering of many new 8-bit input/output devices, and providing a character-string datatype in PL/I.
In 1964 he founded the Computer Science Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and chaired it for 20 years. Currently, he is Kenan Professor of Computer Science. His principal research is in real-time, three-dimensional, computer graphics-"virtual reality." His research has helped biochemists solve the structure of complex molecules and enabled architects to "walk through" buildings still being designed. He is pioneering the use of force display to supplement visual graphics.
Brooks distilled the successes and failures of the development of Operating System/360 in The Mythical Man-Month: Essays in Software Engineering, (1975). He further examined software engineering in his well-known 1986 paper, "No Silver Bullet." He is just completing a two-volume research monograph, Computer Architecture, with Professor Gerrit Blaauw. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice within The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition.
Brooks has served on the National Science Board and the Defense Science Board. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the the IEEE John von Neumann Medal, the IEEE Computer Society's McDowell and Computer Pioneer Awards, the ACM Allen Newell and Distinguished Service Awards, the AFIPS Harry Goode Award, and an honorary Doctor of Technical Science from ETH-Zürich.
Top reviews from United Kingdom
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All I gotta say is that for an Addison Wesley anniversary edition and for the price I paid for it (GBP 22) I was expecting a good quality print. But the paper, cover and binding feel cheap, images are not properly scaled.
Frankly, I could have printed a better version at home.
Not worth your money.
I'd still say it's a relevant read, but there have been bigger S/W screwups in more recent years, (UK NHS databases anyone?) so there is plenty more material to read on how not to do it.
Some of the lessons have become irrelevant due to technological advances enabling new approaches to bypass the problems being described
It's aged remarkably well given the speed at which the discipline has moved; there are many dated references, but the underlying themes and concerns are often still valid. It is always pleasing to hear from someone who has held strong beliefs and been convinced otherwise, to be so intellectually honest is regrettably rare, and requires considerable insight into a subject. Definitely with reading, forgive the dated parts and keep an eye on the big themes.