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The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition [Edition spéciale] [Anglais] [Broché]

Frederick P. Brooks Jr.
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Description de l'ouvrage

2 août 1995

Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless asThe Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice, both for readers already familiar with his work and for readers discovering it for the first time.

 

The added chapters contain (1) a crisp condensation of all the propositions asserted in the original book, including Brooks' central argument in The Mythical Man-Month: that large programming projects suffer management problems different from small ones due to the division of labor; that the conceptual integrity of the product is therefore critical; and that it is difficult but possible to achieve this unity; (2) Brooks' view of these propositions a generation later; (3) a reprint of his classic 1986 paper "No Silver Bullet"; and (4) today's thoughts on the 1986 assertion, "There will be no silver bullet within ten years."


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Descriptions du produit

Quatrième de couverture

Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless asThe Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice, both for readers already familiar with his work and for readers discovering it for the first time.

 

The added chapters contain (1) a crisp condensation of all the propositions asserted in the original book, including Brooks' central argument in The Mythical Man-Month: that large programming projects suffer management problems different from small ones due to the division of labor; that the conceptual integrity of the product is therefore critical; and that it is difficult but possible to achieve this unity; (2) Brooks' view of these propositions a generation later; (3) a reprint of his classic 1986 paper "No Silver Bullet"; and (4) today's thoughts on the 1986 assertion, "There will be no silver bullet within ten years."

Biographie de l'auteur

Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., was born in 1931 in Durham, NC. He received an A.B. summa cum laude in physics from Duke and a Ph.D. in computer science from Harvard, under Howard Aiken, the inventor of the early Harvard computers.

At Chapel Hill, Dr. Brooks founded the Department of Computer Science and chaired it from 1964 through 1984. He has served on the National Science Board and the Defense Science Board. His current teaching and research is in computer architecture, molecular graphics, and virtual environments.

He joined IBM, working in Poughkeepsie and Yorktown, NY, 1956-1965. He is best known as the "father of the IBM System/360", having served as project manager for its development and later as manager of the Operating System/360 software project during its design phase. For this work he, Bob Evans, and Erick Block were awarded and received a National Medal of Technology in 1985.

Dr. Brooks and Dura Sweeney in 1957 patented a Stretch interrupt system for the IBM Stretch computer that introduced most features of today's interrupt systems. He coined the term computer architecture . His System/360 team first achieved strict compatibility, upward and downward, in a computer family. His early concern for word processing led to his selection of the 8-bit byte and the lowercase alphabet for the System/360, engineering of many new 8-bit input/output devices, and providing a character-string datatype in PL/I.

In 1964 he founded the Computer Science Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and chaired it for 20 years. Currently, he is Kenan Professor of Computer Science. His principal research is in real-time, three-dimensional, computer graphics-"virtual reality." His research has helped biochemists solve the structure of complex molecules and enabled architects to "walk through" buildings still being designed. He is pioneering the use of force display to supplement visual graphics.

Brooks distilled the successes and failures of the development of Operating System/360 in The Mythical Man-Month: Essays in Software Engineering, (1975). He further examined software engineering in his well-known 1986 paper, "No Silver Bullet." He is just completing a two-volume research monograph, Computer Architecture, with Professor Gerrit Blaauw. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice within The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition.

Brooks has served on the National Science Board and the Defense Science Board. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the the IEEE John von Neumann Medal, the IEEE Computer Society's McDowell and Computer Pioneer Awards, the ACM Allen Newell and Distinguished Service Awards, the AFIPS Harry Goode Award, and an honorary Doctor of Technical Science from ETH-Zürich.



Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 336 pages
  • Editeur : Addison Wesley; Édition : 2 (2 août 1995)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0201835959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201835953
  • Dimensions du produit: 23 x 15,5 x 1,9 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.2 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 26.997 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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4.2 étoiles sur 5
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Le MMM : une référence informatique indispensable 9 septembre 2003
Par "jpbret"
Format:Broché
Ce livre est LA référence pour tous les informaticiens professionnels intéressés par la gestion de projets et ses facteurs d'échecs. Sans extremisme, le MMM pourrait être inscrit au programme des formations en informatique tant il est riche d'enseignements et tant la connaissance qu'il apporte pourrait éviter les défauts et les retards dans la production de logiciels.
Pour moi, les PLUS de ce livre sont : la clarté du propos, l'humour, le style fluide, son amusante étude sociologique de l'informaticien (on sourit souvent en se reconnaissant) et la frappante similitude des difficultés de l'informatique d'hier (années 70) et d'aujourd'hui.
Le livre en lui même est une belle edition qui vaut largement son prix. La ré-édition a su rester fidèle par rapport à la première édition et l'auteur s'est contenté de le compléter par son regard d'aujourd'hui et des textes emblématiques comme le "silver-bullet".
Je le recommande fortement par rapport à sa traduction française qui d'après moi a uniquement l'intérêt de rendre cette référence accessible à ceux qui parlent pas l'anglais (ce qui n'est pas le dernier des mérites !). En effet, la version originale à l'avantage d'un style d'écriture (celui de F. Brooks) facile à appréhender et d'un vocabulaire et de tournures mieux choisies.
A lire et à relire...
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6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Format:Broché
En français vous avez un proverbe qui est « c'est dans les vieux pots qu'on fait la meilleure soupe », et c'est quelque chose que l'on pourrait bien dire de ce livre.

Mr. Brooks a une loi sur la gestion des projets informatiques que j'aime bien référencier : « adding manpower to a late software project makes it later », soit à peu près « doubler le nombre de programmeurs sur un projet en retard ne fait que doubler le retard ».

Et c'est principalement sur ceci que le livre parle, sur la gestion des projets informatiques, comment réaliser un planning réaliste et comment anticiper le risque, en s'appuyant sur son expérience à IBM pendant la réalisation de l'OS/360.

Il s'agit d'un livre qui n'a pas beaucoup vieilli, et probablement son vrai mérite réside sur le fait d'être un des pionniers sur ce sujet, comme dans les grands classiques du cinéma.

Je considère qu'il est toujours un livre à lire, en particulier la lorsque l'auteur parle de la gestion de projets. Lorsqu'il parle des concepts plus techniques... bref, même les chapitres ajoutés en 1995 sont un peu démodés.

En résumé, ce livre vous permet de réaliser pourquoi il est aussi difficile de définir des deadlines réalistes dans le monde informatique. Il vous met les pieds sur terre, pour vous permettre de mettre en place une bonne gestion de projet humaine.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Philippe Buschini TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Broché
Frederick Brooks sait de quoi il parle en matière de génie logiciel, il a été le chef de projet IBM OS/360, l'un des projets les plus couteux et les plus en retard de l'informatique' Son livre « The Mythical Man-Month » publié peu de temps après la mise en production de OS/360 fait référence à l'unité de coût de développement : le fameux Mois-Homme.

Ce concept fortement ancré dans les esprits, voudrait nous faire croire que le travail de « N » hommes sur un projet de « M » mois, peut être réalisé par « M » hommes pendant « N » mois. En clair, affirmer haut et fort que l'on peut diviser les temps de réalisation par deux simplement en mettant deux fois plus de personnes'

Frederick Brooks lorsqu'il supervisait OS/360 fit le constat suivant : on ne peut pas diviser et répartir le temps du programmeur. Si un projet a du retard, lui ajouter des programmeurs supplémentaires ne fera qu'accroître son retard. Les coûts de communication et de complexité d'un projet augmentent de manière quadratique avec le nombre de programmeurs, alors que le travail réalisé n'augmente, lui, que linéairement.

Pourquoi ? Tout simplement parce que le temps passé à former et à mettre au courant les nouveaux et à réorganiser la division du travail en tâches plus parcellaires fera perdre un temps bien supérieur à l'apport de travail, et que la fragmentation accrue du développement nuira à sa qualité.

La conclusion de Brooks est très intéressante, car elle s'applique à beaucoup d'autres domaines que celui du génie logiciel : il faut employer moins de gens et que ceux-ci soient talentueux'
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Par SuperB
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Un livre parfait pour les développeurs, qui se reconnaitront et reconnaîtront beaucoup de choses de leur environnement quotidien.
Ce livre, un classique parmi les essais d'informatique, a déjà 40 ans, mais évoque les problématiques des projets informatiques d'aujourd'hui avec une précision et une acuité remarquables... L'informatique est-elle vraiment le secteur qui évolue le pus rapidement ?! Quand on considère la question du point de vue de la gestion des projets, des erreurs et des équipes, sûrement pas !Belle clairvoyance de l'auteur à ce sujet !
Evidemment, les chapitres les plus techniques ont une connotation un peu "désuète" (problématique d'espace mémoire, etc.), mais tout ce qui concerne la qualité et la gestion des projets informatiques est très bien décrit.
Un livre pour tous les développeurs donc, mais aussi (et surtout) pour tous ceux qui "gèrent" des développeurs ! :)
Egalement très bien à mon sens pour d'autres domaines proches de celui du logiciel.
L'anglais utilisé reste suffisamment proche de l'anglais technique pour être compréhensible.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  212 commentaires
347 internautes sur 356 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I would give it a 100 stars if I could! 29 mai 2004
Par A. Imran - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
If you have managed some software projects or have worked on some non-trivial software systems, undoubtedly you have faced many difficulties and challenges that you thought were unique to your circumstance. But after reading this book, you will realize that many of the things you experienced, and thought were unique problems, are NOT unique to you but are common systemic problems of developing non-trivial software systems. These problems appear repeatedly and even predictably, in project after project, in company after company, regardless of year, whether it's 1967 or 2007.
You will realize that long before maybe you were even born, other people working at places like IBM had already experienced those problems and quandries. And found working solutions to them which are as valid today as they were 30 years ago.
The suggestions in this book will help you think better and better manage yourself, and be more productive and less wasteful with your time and energy. In short, you will do more with less.
Some of Brooks insights and generalizations are:
The Mythical Man-Month:
Assigning more programmers to a project running behind schedule, may make it even more late.
The Second-System Effect:
The second system an engineer designs is the most bloated system she will EVER design.
Conceptual Integrity:
To retain conceptual integrity and thereby user-friendliness, a system must have a single architect (or a small system architecture team), completely separate from the implementation team.
The Manual:
The chief architect should produce detailed written specifications for the system in the form of the manual, which leaves no ambiguities about any part of the system and completely specifies the external spcifications of the system i.e. what the user sees.
Pilot Plant:
When designing a new kind of system, a team should factor in the fact that they will have to throw away the first system that is built since this first system will teach them how to build the system. The system will then be completely redesigned using the newly acquired insights during building of the first system. This second system will be smarter and should be the one delivered to the customer.
Formal Documents:
Every project manager must create a roadmap in the form of formal documents which specifies milestones precisely and things like who is going to do what and when and at what cost.
Communication:
In order to avoid disaster, all the teams working on a project, such as the architecture and implementation teams, should stay in contact with each other in as many ways as possible and not guess or assume anything about the other. Ask whenever there's a doubt. NEVER assume anything.
Code Freeze and System Versioning:
No customer ever fully knows what she wants from the system she wants you to build. As the system begins to come to life, and the customer interacts with it, he understands more and more what he really wants from the system and consequently asks for changes. These changes should of course be accomodated but only upto a certain date, after which the code is frozen. All requests for more changes will have to wait until the NEXT version of the system. If you keep making changes to the system endlessly, it may NEVER get finished.
Specialized Tools:
Every team should have a designated tool maker who makes tools for the entire team, instead of all individuals developing and using their private tools that no one else understands.
No silver bullet:
There is no single strategy, technique or trick that will exponentially raise the productivity of programmers.
57 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A timeless classic "must read" 22 février 2001
Par B. Scott Andersen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
There are few must reads in this industry. This is one. First published in 1975, this work is as applicable to software engineering today as it was then. Why? Because building things, including software, has always been as much about people as it has been about materials or technology--and people don't change much in only 25 years.

In the preface to the First Edition, Brooks states "This book is a belated answer to Tom Watson's probing question as to why programming is hard to manage." This short book (at just over 300 pages) does a masterful job answering that question.

It is here we first hear of Brooks's Law: "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." Brooks doesn't just drop that on the reader without explanation. Instead, he walks through the reasoning, discusses how communication in a group changes as the group changes or grows, and how additions to the group need time to climb the learning curve.

Those new to the industry or who are reading the book for the first time might be put off by the examples and technology discussed. Indeed, even in the newly released edition, the original text from 1975 is still present, essentially untouched. So, talk of OS/360 and 7090s, which permeates the text, is perhaps laughable to those not looking deeper. When talking about trade-offs, for example, Brooks offers "... OS/360 devotes 26 bytes of the permanently resident date-turnover routine to the proper handling of December 31 on leap years (when it is day 366). That might have been left to the operator." This is 26 bytes he's talking about!

Brooks provides a light, almost conversational tone to the prose. This isn't to say the observations and analysis were not very well researched. Comparing productivity number with those of Software Productivity Research (SPR), you'll find Brooks came up with the same measurements for productivity as Jones--only 20 years earlier!

Other wisdom is also buried in this work. Brooks declares "The question, therefore, is not whether to build a pilot system and throw it away. You will do that. The question is whether to plan in advance to build a throwaway, or to promise to deliver the throwaway to customers." The state of products I buy today tells me not enough people have taken Brooks's observations to heart!

The latest version of the text includes his work "No Silver Bullet." Brooks, who had brought us so much before, had one last "parting shot."

As I started this review I will also end it: this book is a classic. Read it.
138 internautes sur 156 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Must reading, but too seldom read 27 avril 2000
Par Bruce F. Webster - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
In giving testimony before Congress a few years ago on IT issues, I said the following:
"Humanity has been developing information technology for half a century. That experience has taught us this unpleasant truth: virtually every information technology project above a certain size or complexity is significantly late and over budget or fails altogether; those that don't fail are often riddled with defects and difficult to enhance. Fred Brooks explored many of the root causes over twenty years ago in The Mythical Man-Month, a classic book that could be regarded as the Bible of information technology because it is universally known, often quoted, occasionally read, and rarely heeded."
I have been involved in software engineering for over 25 years, have written many articles and even a few books on the subject. Yet every time I think I've discovered some new insight, chances are I can find it tucked away somewhere in The Mythical Man-Month. And the tarpits and other dangers he lays out plague the IT industry today. I wonder when we will grasp and apply the fundamental insights that Brooks, Jerry Weinberg, and others laid out nearly three decades ago. ..bruce..
26 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Oldy but Goody 5 mars 2001
Par Joanna Daneman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book is a classic, but recently revised and corrected. The amazing thing is how relevant the book still is to software product development. If you are involved in software, this book is a must-read.
The most valuable part of the book, I believe, is the "plan to throw out" prototype chapter. While the goal is always to make a bigger, better, fast whatever, it is almost an axiom that you WILL build something that has to be discarded and reworked. This absolutely happens every time, I can tell you from first-hand experience. Therefore it is vital to plan to throw out so you can migrate your users to whatever will follow. If you dream that the first product is THE ONE, you risk abandoning them on a product that will inevitably evolve. Planning the throw-away also helps meet the schedule goals by setting reasonable milestones that can be met.
In my role as a product manager for a top-selling software product in its class, I found that the Mythical Man-Month was absolutely vital. However, some additional reading is recommended; Walker Royce's Software Project Management was published in 1998 and adds the dimension of software project evolution. This goes into more detail why you can't write all the specifications upfront, and even if you do, they are certain to change by the time the product is released.
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 are your deadlines an exercise in futility? 22 décembre 1999
Par Blake Jenkins - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I find myself going back to this book regularly as management tries to double the size of a team in order to cut development time in half, or make supervisors out of great technical people. Normally when you read a technology book as old as this one, its distracting to see how much things have changed; in this case, its sobering to see how little things have changed. Brooks' project examples are artifacts of another era, but teams are still failing to deliver quality software on time for all the same reasons they were then. There's room for disagreement with some things in the Mythical Man-Month (most of which are addressed in the new chapters at the end), but it convinced me that making project deadlines doesn't have to be a roll of the dice, and gave me the insight to start looking at software development as a process instead of as an accident.
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