The Mythical Man-Month

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software EngineeringMythical man monthmythical man-monththrowing more headcount at software development
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering is a book on software engineering and project management by Fred Brooks first published in 1975, with subsequent editions in 1982 and 1995.wikipedia
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Fred Brooks

Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.Brooks, FredBrooks, Jr., Frederick P.
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering is a book on software engineering and project management by Fred Brooks first published in 1975, with subsequent editions in 1982 and 1995.
Frederick Phillips "Fred" Brooks Jr. (born April 19, 1931) is an American computer architect, software engineer, and computer scientist, best known for managing the development of IBM's System/360 family of computers and the OS/360 software support package, then later writing candidly about the process in his seminal book The Mythical Man-Month.

Software prototyping

prototypingprototypeprototypes
This idea is known as Brooks' law, and is presented along with the second-system effect and advocacy of prototyping.
The practice of prototyping is one of the points Frederick P. Brooks makes in his 1975 book The Mythical Man-Month and his 10-year anniversary article "No Silver Bullet".

Brooks's law

Brooks' lawattempting to "throw (enough) bodies at the problemFred Brooks' law
This idea is known as Brooks' law, and is presented along with the second-system effect and advocacy of prototyping.
It was coined by Fred Brooks in his 1975 book The Mythical Man-Month.

Second-system effect

second system effect
The second-system effect proposes that, when an architect designs a second system, it is the most dangerous system they will ever design, because they will tend to incorporate all of the additions they originally did not add to the first system due to inherent time constraints.
The phrase was first used by Fred Brooks in his book The Mythical Man-Month, first published in 1975.

No Silver Bullet

Accidental complexitySilver bulletNo Silver Bullet – Essence and Accident in Software Engineering
The work was first published in 1975 (ISBN: 0-201-00650-2), reprinted with corrections in 1982, and republished in an anniversary edition with four extra chapters in 1995 (ISBN: 0-201-83595-9), including a reprint of the essay "No Silver Bullet" with commentary by the author.
The article, and Brooks's later reflections on it, 'No Silver Bullet' Refired, can be found in the anniversary edition of The Mythical Man-Month.

OS/360 and successors

OS/360MVTOS/MVT
Brooks' observations are based on his experiences at IBM while managing the development of OS/360.

Man-hour

man hourman-daysman-years
Man-month is a hypothetical unit of work representing the work done by one person in one month; Brooks' law says that the possibility of measuring useful work in man-months is a myth, and is hence the centerpiece of the book.

Software as a Product

programming product
When estimating project times, it should be remembered that programming products (which can be sold to paying customers) and programming systems are both three times as hard to write as simple independent in-house programs.
In the book The Mythical Man-Month Fred Brooks tells that when estimating project times, it should be remembered that programming products (which can be sold to paying customers) are three times as hard to write as simple independent in-house programs, because requirement to work on different hardware, which increases testing efforts and documentation.

Software engineering

software engineersoftware engineerssoftware
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering is a book on software engineering and project management by Fred Brooks first published in 1975, with subsequent editions in 1982 and 1995.

Project management

projectproject developmentproject manager
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering is a book on software engineering and project management by Fred Brooks first published in 1975, with subsequent editions in 1982 and 1995.

IBM

International Business MachinesIBM CorporationInternational Business Machines Corporation
Brooks' observations are based on his experiences at IBM while managing the development of OS/360.

Programmer

software developercomputer programmerdeveloper
He had added more programmers to a project falling behind schedule, a decision that he would later conclude had, counter-intuitively, delayed the project even further.

ALGOL

ALGOL 60ALGOL programming languageALGOrithmic Language
He also made the mistake of asserting that one project—involved in writing an ALGOL compiler—would require six months, regardless of the number of workers involved (it required longer).

Compiler

compiledcompilerscompile
He also made the mistake of asserting that one project—involved in writing an ALGOL compiler—would require six months, regardless of the number of workers involved (it required longer).

Silver bullet

silver bulletsbulletbullet out of silver
Brooks insists that there is no one silver bullet -- "there is no single development, in either technology or management technique, which by itself promises even one order of magnitude [tenfold] improvement within a decade in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity."

Order of magnitude

orders of magnitudeorderon the order of
Brooks insists that there is no one silver bullet -- "there is no single development, in either technology or management technique, which by itself promises even one order of magnitude [tenfold] improvement within a decade in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity."

Amdahl's law

applications do not scale horizontallyoverall speedupspeedup
The argument relies on the distinction between accidental complexity and essential complexity, similar to the way Amdahl's law relies on the distinction between "strictly serial" and "parallelizable".

Software development process

software development methodologydevelopment cyclesoftware development life cycle

Software

Computer softwareSoftware & Programmingsoftware technology

List of pioneers in computer science

computer pioneerfather of the computerList of prominent pioneers in computer science