Larry Osterman Gets Nostalgic

Play Larry Osterman Gets Nostalgic

The Discussion

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    Fred Brooks

    1. I enjoyed the interview a lot. Good questions, fascinating answers.

    2. Thanks for the high praise for I couldn't get the public comment thing to work. I enjoyed your interview a lot.

    Thanks for your extravagant praise for The Mythical Man-Month.
    I don't think it's quite accurate to say it's all still relevant. Glance at Chap 9!

    Correction: The first edition was published in 1975, not 1965.
    The Anniversary Edition was published in 1995, with four new chapters.

    If you haven't read the '95 edition's additions, I think you will enjoy them. My publisher wanted a 20th anniversary edition, and I didn't want to do a whole new edition. So he tricked me.
    He took Nancy and me out to lunch when we were in Orlando for a conference, and he persuaded her that there should be a 20th anniv. edition.

    We reprinted the original with only typo corrections and added four new chapters.

    Chapter 16 reprints the best technical paper I ever wrote—"No Silver Bullet", 1985. That paper predicted that there would not be within 10 years a single development giving an order-of-magnitude improvement in software productivity. That paper aroused a lot of published critique.

    Chapter 17 comments on the most cogent of the criticisms.

    Chapter 18 strips away the rhetoric in TMM-M, and leaves the barebone assertions to be believed, refuted, or tested.

    Chapter 19 is the updating essay, covering 1975-95. It tells what was right in '75 and still was in '95; what was right in '75 but was no longer true in '95; and what was wrong to start with in '75, but I knew better than in 1995.

    I have another book you might not have seen: The Design of Design: Essays from a Computer Scientist (2010). It's about design in any domain, not just software. Part V is worked examples to flesh out the general assertions.
    Half the critics like them and half think they are ridiculous

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    Larry Osterman
    Prof Brooks, thank you SO much for the kind words. I'm somewhat speechless. And for anyone who knows me, that means a LOT.
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    Would it be possible to have the reference of the second text book Larry mentioned?

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    why do we need this noise? It's difficult to hear
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    800k of RAM! My first dev machine had 1k of RAM. ;)

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