Brooks on “Plan to Throw One Away”

In an excellent short interview by Kevin Kelly, Fred Brooks, author of The Mythical Man-Month, has this to say when asked how his thinking has changed:

“When I first wrote The Mythical Man-Month in 1975, I counseled programmers to “throw the first version away,” then build a second one. By the 20th-anniversary edition, I realized that constant incremental iteration is a far sounder approach. You build a quick prototype and get it in front of users to see what they do with it. You will always be surprised.”

The 20th-anniversary edition was 15 years ago, yet I still hear “plan to throw one away” quoted and attributed to Brooks. True, but way out of date.

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