The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition Paperback – 2 Aug 1995
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Since the first publication of The Mythical Man-Month in 1975, no software engineer's bookshelf has been complete without it. Many software engineers and computer scientists have claimed to be "on their second or third copy" of the book. Now, Addison-Wesley is proud to present the 20th anniversary edition-and first revised edition ever-of Fred Brooks's now legendary collection of essays on the management of computer programming projects. The 20th Anniversary edition is an updated, enhanced re-release of the Brooks classic. Included are all of the existing essays that were originally presented, with the addition of three new essays assessing the current status of software project management. Brooks's well-known 1986 article, No Silver Bullet, is also included. This 20th Anniversary edition is a major event in computer publishing.
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."See all Product description
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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.