The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering is a book on software engineering and project management by Fred Brooks first published in 1975, with subsequent editions in 1982 and 1995. Its central theme is that adding manpower to a software project that is behind schedule delays it even longer. This idea is known as Brooks's law, and is presented along with the second-system effect and advocacy of prototyping.

Quick facts: Author, Country, Language, Subject, Publisher...
The Mythical Man-Month
First edition
AuthorFred Brooks
CountryUnited States
SubjectSoftware project management
Publication date
ISBN978-0-201-00650-6 (1975 ed.), 978-0-201-83595-3 (1995 ed.)
LC ClassQA76.6 .B75

Brooks's observations are based on his experiences at IBM while managing the development of OS/360. He had added more programmers to a project falling behind schedule, a decision that he would later conclude had, counter-intuitively, delayed the project even further. He also made the mistake of asserting that one project—involved in writing an ALGOL compiler—would require six months, regardless of the number of workers involved (it required longer). The tendency for managers to repeat such errors in project development led Brooks to quip that his book is called "The Bible of Software Engineering", because "everybody quotes it, some people read it, and a few people go by it".[1]

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