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The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition: Essays On Software Engineering (2nd Edition) by [Brooks Jr., Frederick P.]
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The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition: Essays On Software Engineering (2nd Edition) 2nd , Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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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, 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."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3860 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2 edition (2 August 1995)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B8USS14
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,772 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.4 out of 5 stars 289 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insights into software. Superbly edited. Classy. 10 December 2016
By V - Published on
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=== Excellent insights into software ===
IMHO, Brooks has distilled fundamental truths; you might find his ideas slightly outdated; but all will agree Brooks offers at least excellent insights. To list but a few: build times determine programmer work cycle; agreement on high-level goals is essential; dev tools make a huge difference; visualizing code is a hard problem; programmers are optimists.

=== Superbly edited ===
If you've a background in editing (developmental down to line), you will be impressed by this text. "Perfection is achieved, "said Saint-Exupery, "when there's nothing left to take away"; and that is absolutely the case here. Every point is pertinent to the thesis, every sentence is necessary, every phrase concise. (I cannot say the same of Brooks's follow-on book, "Design of Design".)

=== Classy ===
Brooks was the project manager for the OS/300, a $5B endeavor that IBM bet its future on, an engineering effort of the highest magnitude, and a spectacular success. But whenever he mentions an aspect or feature where he feels OS/300 excelled, he always gives complete credit to whomever designed that aspect or implemented that feature; and whenever he mentions an area where he feels OS/300 fell short, he takes complete personal responsibility for the shortcoming.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece 28 January 2017
By Jack M. - Published on
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A fantastic read; the examples are a little dated but the message is exemplary and relevant. Frankly, this might be the most excellent piece of software engineering literature in existence.

It is dense, every sentence is necessary and relevant. The allusions, metaphors, and examples all help to paint and SHOW not TELL the author's ideas.

A cross between literary masterpiece and dialogue about software engineering, this novel will stand the test of time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd give it to everyone with "Chief" in their title - if I didn't think it would get me fired 24 March 2012
By Michael Zarozinski - Published on
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I first read this at my first job out of college 19 years ago. My second journey through the pages of Books' classic, this time the 20th Anniversary Edition, was far more enjoyable. I know much more about the art and science of software now, yet almost every page still held a nugget of wisdom.

This book is wonderful no matter where you are in your career. With each reread - even if it's just a chapter or two - the words seem to have been written yesterday by someone you work with.

The first time I borrowed it from the library, this time I read the kindle version and keep a paper copy at work when I need some help to back up my philosophies on software engineering. Brooks writes in in a style so even the non-technical can understand, however I don't recommend giving it as a gift to a boss hoping to make him or her "see the light."

The core take away is that communication is key to any project's success and gets more difficult the more people involved, specifically by the formula n(n-1)/2. It also addresses many aspects of software that aren't immediately obvious such as: bugs tend to show up the longer a product is live. That runs counter to what many - especially users - think of "mature" software, but a good thing to keep in mind as you "go live" and shift all your developers to other projects.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Must Read 17 October 2001
By Abhinav Agarwal - Published on
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I read this book some 5 years into my career, and it was like deja-vu. So many of the follies in the world of computers and software projects I had either committed or experienced or been witness to were mentioned I felt why people still blindly march into the dark hell of project failure, when this book has been around for more than 20 years! The biggest point I found was this: adding people to a project only makes it more late. Yet find me a Project Manager who believes otherwise and I will show you 100 others who do not!
The only quibble I have with the book is that the author sees it fit to litter the book with religious quotes and observation, about the might of God and His grace - there is a time for religion and there is a time for software engineering pearls of wisdom - and the two should not be mixed.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Influential Classic on Software Development: A Must-Read 11 May 2015
By T. A. Baker - Published on
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This is an excellent compendium of knowledge about software development, particularly in relation to project management and efficient team organization. Though it covers more topics than just those, it really demystifies and sheds light on why managing software development is so different and so much more difficult than any other industry.

If you have any interest in philosophy, computer science, or good writing, this book is well worth your time. If you are interested in two or three of them, it's a must-read. This is a classic in the software development space and has been extremely influential for many years.

Mr. Brooks' writing style is impeccable; he carefully dissects and examines each topic, with the wit and wisdom merited by such a technical field, yet he does it without using a lot of double-speak or unnecessary "fluff" - not a true text but rather a collection of essays, each chapter comes across as a polished, finished product, well-focused on a single topic.

This particular edition is also highly recommended. It contains four additional chapters: No Silver Bullet, yet another influential essay by Brooks that was not in the original edition; an overview of all his points (the entire book) in an easy-to-digest format; his thoughts 20 years on from writing the original, and how the industry has changed in that time; and finally, his responses to various criticism he has received over the years specifically in response to the "No Silver Bullet" essay.

This is an excellent purchase and a great read.