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IT Snapshot: Chapter 1 of “The Mythical Man-Month”

October 17, 2017

Over forty years of working in information technology (IT) have taught me how few people have ever actually read some of the most important books in software engineering and IT project management. I teach a senior-level class in Software Engineering (CS 428) at Brigham Young University, and my students have to read a few of these classic works as part of the class. I thought I’d break up my lectures here into bite-size chunks, so that you can pass them on to your employees, colleagues, and managers.

I’m starting with The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. (Addison-Wesley, 1975, 1995). While sections of it are dated, much of it is just as applicable today as it was when Brooks wrote it over 40 years ago. Much of my work over the past 20+ years deals with troubled or failed IT projects, and I frequently go back to Brooks to point out root causes of the failures.

Below is the video of my class lecture, with the slides below that.


About the Author:

Webster is Principal and Founder at at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the BYU Computer Science Department. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at 303.502.4141 or at

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