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"The Tar Pit" is short, but does a nice job describing what makes software development both difficult as hell and fun as hell. This is a great passage (especially the first sentence): "Observe that for the programmer, as for the chef, the urgency of the patron may govern the scheduled completion of the task, but it cannot govern the actual completion.The title essay alone will convince the casual reader why this book has endured. An omelette, promised in two minute, may appear to be appear to be progressing nicely.Rather, he keeps the discussion focused on the more universal aspects, which makes the essays easy to relate to and the reading quick.
He writes, "I will contend that conceptual integrity is the most important consideration in system design.All of the preceding is a long-winded way of saying this: The Mythical Man-Month is a classic work that you would likely enjoy reading even if you don't normally pick up this type of book.Brooks never bogs down into the boring mechanics of the aforementioned subjects.I very much enjoyed this, as it reexamines many of the topics and conclusions of the original essays in light of the intervening time.Brooks is humble about conceding where he was wrong, and also quotes and responds to the other people's responses to the essays.Reading the book 28 years after its initial publication, it becomes apparent that the software development challenges the book describes are still as much--or more--of a challenge today as they were when these words were first written, and that the Brooks's conclusions and advice have, for the most part, withstood the test of time equally well.The essays in The Mythical Man-Month cover a variety of topics, from management-related topics such as estimating and process, to lower level design and construction topics.In the high-pressure worlds of software development for business and government, the biggest challenges to building great software are not technical challenges.Of course, bad programmers writing bad code can doom a project, but haven't we all seen projects filled with bad designs and bad code "succeed" by going into production and living long lives?The Mythical Man-Month Essays on Software Engineering Frederick P. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ADDISON-WESLEY PUBLISHING COMPANY Reading, Massachusetts • Menlo Park, California London • Amsterdam • Don Mills, Ontario • Sydney Cover drawing: C. Copyright © 1975 by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc. But in many other ways it is different — in more ways than most professional managers expect. There have been several conferences, sessions at AFIPS conferences, some books, and pa- pers.Philippines copyright 1975 by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc. But it is by no means yet in shape for any systematic text- book treatment.