He proposed that we prepare an Anniversary Edition. I have been at work in a university, not industry, and on small-scale projects, not large ones.
We decided not to revise the original, but to reprint it untouched (except for trivial corrections) and to augment it with more current thoughts. Since 1986, I have only taught software engineering, not done research in it at all.
Chapter 16 reprints "No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering," a 1986 IFIPS paper that grew out of my experience chairing a Defense Science Board study on military software. My research has rather been on virtual reality and its applications.
My co-authors of that study, and our executive secretary, Robert L. In preparing this retrospective, I have sought the current views of friends who are indeed at work in software engineering.
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.Currently, he is Kenan Professor of Computer Science. He proposed that we prepare an Anniversary Edition.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. Propositions of The Mythical Man-Month: True or False? We decided not to revise the original, but to reprint it untouched (except for trivial corrections) and to augment it with more current thoughts.In preparing my retrospective and update of The Mythical Man-Month, I was struck by how few of the propositions asserted in it have been critiqued, proven, or disproven by ongoing software engineering research and experience. Boes developed the elegant style, which one reviewer especially cited: "wide margins, and imaginative use of typeface and layout." More important, he also made the crucial recommendation that every chapter have an opening picture.It proved useful to me now to catalog those propositions in raw form, stripped of supporting arguments and data. (I had only the Tar Pit and Rheims Cathedral at the time.) Finding the pictures occasioned an extra year's work for me, but I am eternally grateful for the counsel.It predicted that a decade would not see any programming technique which would by itself bring an order-of-magnitude improvement in software productivity. I thank Gordon Bell, Bruce Buchanan, Rick Hayes-Roth, my colleagues on the Defense Science Board Task Force on Military Software, and, most especially, David Parnas for their insights and stimulating ideas for, and Rebekah Bierly for technical production of, the paper printed here as Chapter 16.The decade has a year to run; my prediction seems safe. Analyzing the software problem into the categories of essence and accident was inspired by Nancy Greenwood Brooks, who used such analysis in a paper on Suzuki violin pedagogy.He has received the the IEEE John von Neumann Medal, the IEEE Computer Society's Mc Dowell 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. Chapter 17, therefore, comments on some of the published critique and updates the opinions set forth in 1986.To my surprise and delight, The Mythical Man-Month continues to be popular after twenty years. People often ask which of the opinions and recommendations set forth in 1975 I still hold, and which have changed, and how. In preparing my retrospective and update of The Mythical Man-Month, I was struck by how few of the propositions asserted in it have been critiqued, proven, or disproven by ongoing software engineering research and experience.