7. Why did the Tower of Babel fail

This post is part of a series of posts with my personal notes about the chapters in the book “The mythical man-month” by Frederick P. Brooks. I write these posts as I read through the book, and take notes on the concepts I find more relevant. I do, however, advise reading the book to get the full benefit out of it.

This seventh chapter is about how a software development department should communicate and how it should be organised. Continue reading “7. Why did the Tower of Babel fail”

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6. Passing the word

This post is part of a series of posts with my personal notes about the chapters in the book “The mythical man-month” by Frederick P. Brooks. I write these posts as I read through the book, and take notes on the concepts I find more relevant. I do, however, advise reading the book to get the full benefit out of it.

The question this chapter tries to answer is “how shall the manager ensure that everyone hears, understands and implements the Architect’s decisions?” Continue reading “6. Passing the word”

5. The second system effect

This post is part of a series of posts with my personal notes about the chapters in the book “The mythical man-month” by Frederick P. Brooks. I write these posts as I read through the book, and take notes on the concepts I find more relevant. I do, however, advise reading the book to get the full benefit out of it.

The most dangerous points of our career are the ones when we are, undeservingly, extra self-confident in our knowledge and experience. At that point, we think we know it all about the problem at hand and how to solve it…

But how do we detect those moments and how can we avoid them? Continue reading “5. The second system effect”

4. Aristocracy, democracy and system design

This post is part of a series of posts with my personal notes about the chapters in the book “The mythical man-month” by Frederick P. Brooks. I write these posts as I read through the book, and take notes on the concepts I find more relevant. I do, however, advise reading the book to get the full benefit out of it.

This chapter is about the impact that easiness of use and project scale, impact on the system design and the teams’ organisation. Continue reading “4. Aristocracy, democracy and system design”

3. The surgical team

This post is part of a series of posts with my personal notes about the chapters in the book “The mythical man-month” by Frederick P. Brooks. I write these posts as I read through the book, and take notes on the concepts I find more relevant. I do, however, advise reading the book to get the full benefit out of it.

I guess most of us feel that small experienced teams are far more productive per developer than large teams with dozens or even hundreds of developers…

But how can we build a huge project with just a small team…?! No matter how good the developers would be, it would take forever…

The dilemma is a cruel one. For efficiency and conceptual integrity, one prefers a few good minds doing design and construction. Yet for large systems one wants a way to bring considerable manpower to bear, so that the product can make a timely appearance. How can these two needs be reconciled?

The mythical man-month pg. 31

Continue reading “3. The surgical team”

2. The mythical man-month

This post is part of a series of posts with my personal notes about the chapters in the book “The mythical man-month” by Frederick P. Brooks. I write these posts as I read through the book, and take notes on the concepts I find more relevant. I do, however, advise reading the book to get the full benefit out of it.

In this second chapter, we go through the projects time and effort estimations, their problems and possible solutions. Continue reading “2. The mythical man-month”

1. The tar pit

This post is part of a series of posts with my personal notes about the chapters in the book “The mythical man-month” by Frederick P. Brooks. I write these posts as I read through the book, and take notes on the concepts I find more relevant. I do, however, advise reading the book to get the full benefit out of it.

“The mythical man-month” is a historical, emblematic and seminal book about management of software development projects. It was first published in December 1st 1974, but republished 20 years later, in 1995, with four extra chapters. Despite having been written so long ago, it is still today a reference and a worthwhile reading, with the due context adjustments.

The author, Frederick P. Brooks has been involved in the development of some of the most important and emblematic early electronic computers and has been awarded countless times throughout his career, including the Turing Award, generally recognized as the highest distinction in computer science and the “Nobel Prize of computing”.

This is the first chapter, and Frederick P. Brooks starts off by identifying the craft of system programming and the joys and woes inherent in it. Continue reading “1. The tar pit”