By now, you should have read Chapter 16,
"No Silver Bullet", and Chapter 17, "No Silver Bullet Refired" from
Brooks's text. As you saw, these chapters describe Brooks's
outlook on the software-development enterprise and the prospects for
radical advances in the discipline. You will also have noted that
Brooks is quite pessimistic. His argument hinges on a distinction
between characteristics of the development enterprise that he
identifies as either accidental or essential.
In your analysis, I want you to consider the extent to which the
essence and accident distinction supports Brooks's position. Take
at least three characteristics that Brooks discusses (at least one from
both essence and accident) and reflect on the adequacy of Brooks's
treatment. Are there problems with claims? Could claims be
strengthened or better supported? Next, consider the claim that
there will never be a "silver bullet"; are there any reasons to hope
for a revolutionary breakthrough in software development or is Brooks
Finally, focusing on "Refired", reflect on Brooks's perspective after
20 years. Has he missed anything important that would invalidate
his primary claim, or is there anything on the horizon that would do
so? Your position must be fully established and supported on the
claims made in the paper and your reasoning about those.
Refer to the general comments
these assignments for reminders on what is expected.