“No Silver Bullet” A review of the article “No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering” written by F. P. Brooks and published in “Computer Magazine”. Written in 2004; 1,293 words; 5 sources; Paper Summary: This paper discusses the state of the software industry, claiming that there are many theories regarding lack of software productivity. The paper examines Brooks’ ideas as they appeared in his “Computer Magazine” article, “No Silver Bullet”, as well as the opinions of Cox and others.
The paper contends that these theories and others, all help to shed light on barriers to software productivity. From the Paper: “During the 1970’s, companies had difficulty delivering software within the constraints of schedule, budget, and quality (Food for Thought, 2005). The problem grew worse over time. Many projects undertaken in the 1980’s and 1990’s were complete disasters, failing to deliver anything, grossly exceeding budget and schedule deadlines, and delivering poor quality.
Also, during the 1980’s a “software crisis” occurred in which the spending on software maintenance exceeded spending on creating new software products. So, why can’t software be mass produced in a way that is reliable and consistent just as manufactured goods are delivered today? There are many theories regarding lack of software productivity. Brooks (1987) holds that the fundamental nature of software prevents meaningful automation. Cox (1996), on the other hand, makes the interesting assertion that software development issues stem from market dynamics, namely the way software is bought and sold.