It's been a while since I wrote something, work, university and life in general have kept me busy enough to forget that from time to time it is required for me to spare some words in any kind of medium. Just for the fun of doing it.
Then I just started reading the book The Mythical Man Month by Frederick P. Brooks because I found in many places that it is a mandatory reading for software development in general and I started reading it to find out what it has on it.
Initially I was just a little bit skeptic about the fact that a book so old (in software-related terms) could have some content for me to be interested.
But after finishing the first chapter I realized that this is not just only a very interesting book, but an invaluable source of data, techniques, practices and tales about how software engineering has been done in the words of the great Frederick P. Brook.
So as I identify this book as something I want to remember, I'm going to write down my thoughts in a chapter-by-chapter basis, pointing the things I have experienced related to them.
The Tar Pit
In this chapter its author identifies that in many senses large systems development can be compared to a huge tar pit where incredibly strong creatures have found their death.
It defines in a very interesting way programming systems product as:
- A program, a software product that can be developed by small teams, a simple application (i.e. cat).
- A programming product, a software product that can be extended or used for the programming of other systems, a library component (i.e. SQLite).
- A programming system, collection of interacting programming products, I identify it as a basic operating system (i.e. Minix).
- A programming system product, a collection of interacting programming products that could used and extended by anybody, I identify it as a complete operating system (i.e. Linux)
Based on such classification it describes how systems programming is a craft that has joys and woes inherent of software development, that is impossible to develop something without having limited resources, budget, time and collaboration. But when ones get things done you can express with great honor that you survived the pit.