[Book] The mythical man-month

I recently finished reading the mythical man-month by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. This was the anniversary edition with four new chapters (oooo).

Quite an interesting read.

I was however, unaware of just how old this book was (originally published in 1975). Three decades later some of the problems addressed in this book are still valid, while others have become so much of a non issue it is ridiculous. For instance in a discussion concerning memory usage; the IBM APL interactive software system uses at least 160 kilobytes of memory. 160k! Further in the same paragraph we find that on a Model 165 (IBM mainframe) one kilobyte of memory rents for about $12 per month. Now days I can go out and _buy_ 262,144 kilobytes for twice that.

Fortunately not all of the ideas presented are displaced by large advances in technology. In fact I find it hard to imagine a future where Brook’s law of ‘adding manpower to a late software project makes it later’ does not apply…

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