Fred Brooks


The Mythical Man Month

by Fred Brooks


  • This book is old. There is really no way in getting around that. 1975 was a long time ago, and most of the assertions may still be true, but they simply arent problems anymore (there is a whole section on fitting your program in a tiny disk).
  • All of that being said, some of the assertions have aged well. The first chapters research and assertions about ideal team size are fantastic, and the discussions about how a Great developer can be 10x as productive as a mediocre one ring true.
  • I don't recommend reading the whole book, but if you want a summary, he actually provides one in the new edition as the last chapter. If anything looks interesting, read the extended version.


This book provides a lot of data on why major software projects get mis-estimated.

Who should read?

If you have interest in answering that question ^, I recommend Pragmatic Programming and Clean Coder first, but come here if you run out of things to read.

Important Concepts

  • The only thing that registered as truly potentially helpful was the talk about productivity and the classification of complexity into essential and accidental. Read this well.