Review and Reflection on "The Mythical Man-Month" by Frederick P. Brooks Jr.
November 9, 2011
Dr. Brooks is my new… well, I can't think of an appropriate noun. Certainly not a deity. One book does not make him a favorite tech author. Static text cannot make him a mentor. Maybe tech hero?
The Mythical Man-Month is a true classic. Many have heard of it; I wonder how many in my generation have taken the time to read it? Although it was written primarily* in the mid-seventies, based on experiences from the mid-sixties, it nevertheless offers
- Brilliant insights on the working of computers and software;
- Brilliant insights on the workings of the people who work on them;
- Unintentional but illuminating lessons in history;
- A powerful argument for the importance of process but against its ossification;
- And of course, much sage advice.
(* the copy I found at a Half-Price is a 20th-anniversary edition with additional information, and valuable, essays written in the eighties and nineties).
This post will begin a series of reflections based on little sticky notes I used to remind myself of Lessons Learned or To Be Explored. That in itself was a lesson learned, but from elsewhere. I had probably thought to do it before, but was too frugal to "waste" my sticky notes this way. Should've been doing this for years.
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