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The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition) Paperback – Aug 2 1995

4.3 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2 edition (Aug. 2 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201835959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201835953
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Amazon

The classic book on the human elements of software engineering. Software tools and development environments may have changed in the 21 years since the first edition of this book, but the peculiarly nonlinear economies of scale in collaborative work and the nature of individuals and groups has not changed an epsilon. If you write code or depend upon those who do, get this book as soon as possible -- from Amazon.com Books, your library, or anyone else. You (and/or your colleagues) will be forever grateful. Very Highest Recommendation.

From the Inside Flap

To my surprise and delight, The Mythical Man-Month continues to be popular after twenty years. Over 250,000 copies are in print. People often ask which of the opinions and recommendations set forth in 1975 I still hold, and which have changed, and how. Whereas I have from time to time addressed that question in lectures, I have long wanted to essay it in writing.

Peter Gordon, now a Publishing Partner at Addison-Wesley, has been working with me patiently and helpfully since 1980. He proposed that we prepare an Anniversary Edition. We decided not to revise the original, but to reprint it untouched (except for trivial corrections) and to augment it with more current thoughts.

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 co-authors of that study, and our executive secretary, Robert L. Patrick, were invaluable in bringing me back into touch with real-world large software projects. The paper was reprinted in 1987 in the IEEE Computer magazine, which gave it wide circulation.

"No Silver Bullet" proved provocative. It predicted that a decade would not see any programming technique which would by itself bring an order-of-magnitude improvement in software productivity. The decade has a year to run; my prediction seems safe. "NSB" has stimulated more and more spirited discussion in the literature than has The Mythical Man-Month. Chapter 17, therefore, comments on some of the published critique and updates the opinions set forth in 1986.

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. It proved useful to me now to catalog those propositions in raw form, stripped of supporting arguments and data. In hopes that these bald statements will invite arguments and facts to prove, disprove, update, or refine those propositions, I have included this outline as Chapter 18.

Chapter 19 is the updating essay itself. The reader should be warned that the new opinions are not nearly so well informed by experience in the trenches as the original book was. I have been at work in a university, not industry, and on small-scale projects, not large ones. Since 1986, I have only taught software engineering, not done research in it at all. My research has rather been on virtual reality and its applications.

In preparing this retrospective, I have sought the current views of friends who are indeed at work in software engineering. For a wonderful willingness to share views, to comment thoughtfully on drafts, and to re-educate me, I am indebted to Barry Boehm, Ken Brooks, Dick Case, James Coggins, Tom DeMarco, Jim McCarthy, David Parnas, Earl Wheeler, and Edward Yourdon. Fay Ward has superbly handled the technical production of the new chapters.

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. 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.

Addison-Wesley's house custom did not permit me to acknowledge in the 1975 Preface the key roles played by their staff. Two persons' contributions should be especially cited: Norman Stanton, then Executive Editor, and Herbert Boes, then Art Director. 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. (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.

Deo soli gloria or Soli Deo Gloria -- To God alone be the glory.

Chapel Hill, N.C., F.


0201835959P04062001

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From the Publisher

Software Teams Software Teams Project and team management Project Management
Hire, Motivate, and Mentor a Software Development Team that Functions at the Highest Level Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams Productive Projects and Teams The Most Influential Book on Software Project Management
Description In this video training, Mickey and Ron explain what makes managing programmers uniquely challenging, and then provide lessons and tools to hire and manage on-board new programmers successfully, manage and motivate programmers, manage bosses and peers, manage yourself, develop a successful programming culture, and deliver results successfully. Drawing on their software development and management experience, and highlighting the insights and wisdom of other successful managers, Mantle and Lichty provide the rules, tools, and insights you need to manage and understand people and teams in order to deliver software successfully and avoid projects that have run catastrophically over schedule and budget. The unique insight of this longtime bestseller is that the major issues of software development are human, not technical. They're not easy issues; but solve them, and you'll maximize your chances of success. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects.
Endorsement "It covers all the essential points a development manager should pay attention to. It will put anyone who wishes on a solid carreer track and make their teams happy teams. Experienced programming managers will be able to closely relate to many of the points and perhaps also disvover areas they may have neglected." — Raimundstrauck, Safari Reviewer. “Their rules of thumb and coaching advice are great blueprints for new and experienced software engineering managers alike.” —Tom Conrad, CTO, Pandora. “'Peopleware' has long been one of my two favorite books on software engineering...Their premise is right: most software project problems are sociological, not technological. The insights on team jelling and work environment have changed my thinking and teaching.” — Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., Author of 'The Mythical Man-Month'. "When Microsoft started growing seriously in the 1980s, everybody there had read The Mythical Man-Month, one of the classics of software management. (If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.) The main point of that book was that when you add more programmers to a late project, it gets even later. " — Joel Spolsky, Joel on Software and co-founder of Stack Overflow.
About the Author(s) Mickey W. Mantle and Ron Lichty's software careers have spanned system software, multimedia, interface development, shrink-wrapped products, software-as-a-service, embedded devices, IT, Internet applications, professional services, and data warehousing and analytics, but they have seldom found the problems that plague software development to be domain or channel specific. Mickey W. Mantle has directed R&D teams around the world and managed multidisciplinary teams working 24/7 to deliver successful products. With experience in selecting, establishing, and managing offshore development organizations in India, Russia, Canada, and Japan, he brings insight into the challenges of managing software development using diverse staff and teams that are hours and oceans apart. Ron Lichty has been developing software for 30 years. In consulting engagements in America and Europe, he has helped development groups overcome roadblocks, untangle organizational knots, and become more productive. Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister are principals of the Atlantic Systems Guild, a consulting firm specializing in the complex processes of system building, with particular emphasis on the human dimension. Together, they have lectured, written, and consulted internationally since 1979 on management, estimating, productivity, and corporate culture. Frederick Phillips Brooks, Jr. is a computer architect, software engineer, and computer scientist. 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.

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