The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

By Frederick P. Brooks Jr.

Having just finished work at a software company that's crippled with technical debt, accidental complexity, and chaotic micro-management, I am re-reading parts of Fred Brooks's legendary collection of essays on software project management. (I have the 20th anniversary edition, which contains some notable revisions to the 1975 original, plus a reprint of Brooks's other famous essay, "No Silver Bullet".)

The profession of software engineering has come a long way in 40 years, but it's demoralising to think that we're still prone to repeating the same old mistakes again and again. Sadly, this book is as valuable today as it was in 1975. Every software engineer, and especially every project manager, should read this book. Then maybe, just maybe, we'll solve the perpetual software crisis.