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The Mythical Man-Month > "No Silver Bullet" Refired

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message 1: by Erik (new)

Erik | 165 comments This chapter is a nice follow up to the NSB chapter.

The key points I saw were Complexity, Invisibility, and OO. I liked the accurate prediction of visual modeling tools in the Invisibility section.

The build versus buy and reuse sections were good too. I like to build software, but it seems almost always cheaper to buy or reuse something that already exists.


message 2: by Brad (new)

Brad (bradrubin) | 264 comments Mod
Note we have again warped time ahead by about another decade. It is rare to find a long term follow-up to a paper that summarizes the criticism and also responds to the critics.

It is certainly true that many of the proposed breakthroughs in software engineering failed to deliver on their initial promise as the decades rolled on. Brooks argues that there is a fundamental reason why this is so, and we should stop trying to futilely swing for the fences. Others would argue that this view is too pessimistic and we must continue to search for ways to significantly improve development productivity.

Although I fall in Books' camp, I think that there have been significant improvements in better meeting customer needs, primarily through iterative methods, and better meeting schedules, primarily by defining "done" more by the calendar than by the content and allowing for many, quick, releases. I think that this certainly helps improve productivity, if we define it at the higher level as meeting customer needs in a timely manner.

Has OO really delivered on its promise? I think that question warrants another whole book, and I can't think of one that addresses this interesting question.


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