Jump to content
xisto Community
Sign in to follow this  
Larry Rosario

No Silver Bullet: Essence And Accidents Of Software Engineering

Recommended Posts

No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering
by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.

Of all the monsters that fill the nightmares of our folklore, none terrify more than werewolves, because they transform unexpectedly from the familiar into horrors. For these, one seeks bullets of silver that can magically lay them to rest.
The familiar software project, at least as seen by the non-technical manager, has something of this character; it is usually innocent and straightforward, but is capable of becoming a monster of missed schedules, blown budgets, and flawed products. So we hear desperate cries for a silver bullet--something to make software costs drop as rapidly as computer hardware costs do.

But, as we look to the horizon of a decade hence, we see no silver bullet. There is no single development, in either technology or in management technique, that by itself promises even one order-of-magnitude improvement in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity. In this article, I shall try to show why, by examining both the nature of the software problem and the properties of the bullets proposed.

Skepticism is not pessimism, however. Although we see no startling breakthroughs--and indeed, I believe such to be inconsistent with the nature of software--many encouraging innovations are under way. A disciplined, consistent effort to develop, propagate, and exploit these innovations should indeed yield an order of-magnitude improvement. There is no royal road, but there is a road.

The first step toward the management of disease was replacement of demon theories and numerous theories by the germ theory. That very step, the beginning of hope, in itself dashed all hopes of magical solutions. It told workers that progress would be made stepwise, at great effort, and that a persistent, unremitting care would have to be paid to a discipline of cleanliness. So it is with software engineering today.

more here:

Kindly give your reactions and comments about this topic. Well it's my class assignment and I want you to share your bright ideas regarding this. Thank you.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is quite a long article, and I promise to read whole of it later, I just ran trough it, to get the general idea on the subject...Being a software developer for more than 10 years myself, I am well aware of many problems concerning software development... In most cases, that problem is a missed schedule, then blown budget... Flawed products also happen, but more rarely...Missed schedule happed due to a fact, that software developers, can get kind of "writters block", meaning, they know what needs to be done, they just can't get to it... Happened to me hundreds of times... This is something that will never change, since we can't (yet) change the way human brain works... One solution would be some sort of AI help system, that would forec the idea back into the developers head, but then... Someone would just create AI pdevelopment system, and then what? All the software developers would become a surplus, an unneded bunch of people, with no more work to do... And all that software would become, well... Artificial... It would lack idea, improvements, breakthroughs... I don't see some form of radical solution, but there may be ome improvements underway... What they will be... Only time will tell...This is a very interesting topic, and I too would really like to see what others see as a solution, mainly software developers themselves, since they know exactly the problems we're facing when we sit at the keyboard, and start typing, or developing...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.