Stolen from - home

by Volker Weber

Stolen from - home of fine hypertext products: If you do any sort of Web or software development, I would encourage you to read The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick Brooks. It's over 25 years old and most of the technology it talks about is beyond obsolete, but that's OK because it's not a book about's about people and management and information flow and all the other non-technological aspects of software development. Brooks goes beyond describing any specific process, instead giving us a roadmap (a pattern, if you will) for the development of a process that fits the specific needs of a company or team. Some salient points from the book: (1) The mythical man-month: "The second fallacious thought mode is expressed in the very unit of effort used in estimating and scheduling: the man-month. Cost does indeed vary as the product of the number of men and the number of months. Progress does not. Hence the man-month as a unit for measuring the size of a job is a dangerous and deceptive myth. It implies that men and months are interchangeable." (2) The other main point Brooks makes is that large software projects are fundamentally different than small projects, and for them to succeed, a sizable effort needs to be made to preserve the conceptual integrity of the end product by whatever means necessary.


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