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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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I finally got around to reading a classic text in the field of software engineering (where it’s mighty classic indeed at over 20 years old) — The Mythical Man Month.

Through most of it, it looked rather familiar. I think in part this is because what was originally preached by Brooks has since become common (if not tribal) wisdom. I found the most interesting aspect of the book to be the chapters where Brooks re-examines the statements, and admits where they are now irrelevant or downright wrong; it takes a bit of strength to be able to do that, and the insight provided is a valuable lesson in the evolution of best practices.

While the specifics are entirely irrelevant, I think most of the general guidance of the book is still relevant — software engineering is a process, and it is one bound more by people and organization than anything else. 7/10.

Update: Interestingly, I’m finding myself thinking about “no silver bullet” and a lot of other things from the book several days later. At work I’ll start hearing something approaching “throw more engineers at a problem” and I start falling back on what I read. It’s interesting. Perhaps this book is more meaningful than I expected, and I just haven’t realized it yet.