The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)
by Frederick P. Brooks Jr.
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Recommendations on The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)

Recommendations from domain experts (curated by Highlyreco)

Steve Yegge's Review:

OK, but what about Firefox? Why don't they, you know, innovate? Well, they're trying, I think, but for what I'm guessing are probably tangled historical reasons — which manifest as the developers often being gridlocked politically — Mozilla lacks what Fred Brooks Jr. calls "conceptual integrity" in his classic "The Mythical Man-Month". [Which, incidentally, remains today the most vitally relevant book on software engineering, over 30 years after it was written.] The Mozilla folks would have to do a lotof serious re-thinking in order to reduce XUL's "Hello, World" down to a few lines of code in a single language. And I'm not convinced that kind of thinking is happening in the Firefox camp right now. It's not that they're not thinking at all; don't get me wrong. They're just not thinking about radical, revolutionary user-level simplifications to the basic framework.


Steve Blank's Review:

. If you write software you already know about Fred Brooks classic text the Mythical Man Month. If you manage a software company you need to read it so you don’t act like Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss.


Jeff Bezos's Review:

An influential computer scientist makes the counter-intuitive argument that small groups of engineers are more effective than larger ones at handling complex software projects. The book lays out the theory behind Amazon’s two pizza teams.


Joel Spolsky's Review:

Certainly one of the classics of software project management, this book first appeared a quarter of a century ago, when Fred Brooks tried to run one of the first very large scale software engineering projects (the OS/360 operating system at IBM) and became the first person to describe how radically different software is from other types of engineering. This book is most famous for discovering the principle that adding more programmers to an already-late project makes it later, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. Understanding this book is a prerequisite for thinking correctly about managing software teams.