= B =
Brooks's Law prov.
"Adding manpower to a late software
project makes it later" -- a result of the fact that the expected
advantage from splitting development work among N
programmers is O(N) (that is, proportional to N), but
the complexity and communications cost associated with coordinating
and then merging their work is O(N^2) (that is, proportional
to the square of N). The quote is from Fred Brooks, a
manager of IBM's OS/360 project and author of "The Mythical
Man-Month" (Addison-Wesley, 1975, ISBN 0-201-00650-2), an excellent
early book on software engineering. The myth in question has been
most tersely expressed as "Programmer time is fungible" and
Brooks established conclusively that it is not. Hackers have never
forgotten his advice (though it's not the whole story; see
bazaar); too often, management still does. See also
creationism, second-system effect, optimism.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.