人月神話

年初二拜讀了 Frederick P. Brooks 32 年前撰寫的人月神話(The Mythical Man-Month),這個年最大的收穫。
 
這大概是近年來所看過最好的一本討論軟體專案管理書籍,32 年前做 IBM OS/360 的經驗至今竟然歷久彌新,在變動不止的軟體科技上,果然有可抽象、萃取的智慧。
 
僅將各章節的名稱與引言節錄於此,願資訊生涯中,它們能引導與促使自己多一點思考。
 
Ch01 焦油坑(The Tar Pit)
對航海的人來說,擱淺的船就是燈塔
A ship on the beach is a lighthouse to the sea 荷蘭諺語
 
Ch02 人月神話(The Mythical Man-Month)
好菜都得多花些時間準備,為了能讓您享受到更美味,更可口的佳餚,請您務必耐心稍待
Good cooking takes time. If you are made to wait, it is to serve you better, and to please you.  紐奧良,Antoine 餐廳的點菜單
 
Ch03 外科手術團隊(The Surgical Team)
研究顯示,高手與庸手的表現有著極大的差異,而且往往是一個數量級的差異
These studies revealed  large individual differences between high and low performers, often by an order of magnitude.  Sackman, Erikson, and Grant
 
Ch04 專制、民主與系統設計(Aristocracy, Democracy, and System Design)
這個大教堂是個無與倫比的藝術結晶,一點也不會讓人有乏味和混亂的感覺…
它是風格的極致。歷代的藝術家們完全領會並將先人的成功經驗融會貫通,完整保有了屬於他們那個時代的技巧,沒有任何地方顯現出一丁點的不當或多餘。
這就是 Jean d’Orbais 的傑作,他的設計理念,至少在本質上,一直被他的後繼者所遵循。這就是為什麼這棟建築能展現如此統一與合諧的原因。
This great church is an incomparable work of art. There is neither aridity nor confusion in the tenets it sets forth…
It is the zenith of a style, the work of artists who had understood and assimilated all their predecessors’ successes, in complete possession of the techniques of their times, but using them without indiscreet display nor gratuitous feats of skill.
It was Jean d’Orbais who undoubtedly conceived the general plan of the building, a plan which was respected, at least in its essential elements, by his successors. This is one of the reasons for the extreme coherence and unity of the edifice.  Reims 大教堂導覽手冊
 
Ch05 第二系統效應(The Second-System Effect)
加一點點,加一點點,最後變成一大坨。
Add little to little and there will be a big pile.  奧維德
 
Ch06 意念的傳達(Passing the Word)
他將會坐在這兒,說:"做這個!做那個!" 然後什麼事都不會發生。
 He’ll sit here and he’ll say, "Do this! Do that!" And nothing will happen  杜魯門,<總統的權利>
 
Ch07 巴別塔為什麼失敗?(Why Did the Tower of Babel Fail?)
那時,全地的人只說一種語言。後來,他們向東遷徙,來到示拿地一處平原的地方,就在那裡定居下來了。他們彼此商量說:"來呀,我們燒些磚來用吧。" 他們又說:"來吧,先來造一座城,然後再造一座聳入雲霄的高塔,這樣,不單可以揚名於天下,也可以使我們團結在一起,免得在地上四處流散。" 於是,他們把磚當作石塊,用瀝青當作水泥,大興土木。
主從天上下來查看人所建造的城和塔,便說:"看哪,他們現在同屬一個民族,同操一種語言,就竟然幹出這種事情來,如果繼續下去,他們豈不是可以為所欲為了嗎?好,讓我們下去攪亂他們的語言,使他們不能再彼此交談。" 於是,主就把他們從那裡分散到各地方,他們就不能再建造那城了。
Now the whole earth used only one language, with few words. On the occasion of a migration from the east, men discovered a plain in the land of Shinar, and settled there. Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, burning them well." So they used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city with a tower whose top shall reach the heavens(thus makg a name of ourselves), so that we may not be scattered all over the earch." Then the Load came down to look at the city and tower which human beings had built. The Lord said, "They are just one people, and they all have the same language. If this is what they can do as a beginning, then nothing that they resovle to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there make such a babble of their language that they will not understand one another’s speech." Thus the Loard dispersed them from there all over the earch, so that they had to stop building the city <創世紀> 第 11 章:1~8 節
 
Ch08 預估(Calling the Shot)
練習就是最好的教練
Practice is the best of all instructors.  西流士
經驗的代價是昂貴的,但愚人就只能從經驗中學習
Experience is a dear teacher, but fools will learn at no other.  <Poor Richard’s Almanac>
 
Ch09 地盡其利,物盡其用(Ten Pounds in a Five-Pound Sack)
創作者應該盯著諾亞,並且…學學人家是怎樣將一大票的東西塞進一個小方舟上的。
The author should gaze at Noah, and … learn, as they did in the Ark, to crowd a great deal of matter into a very small compass. 席德尼.史密斯 <愛丁堡評論>
 
Ch10 文件假說(The Documentary Hypothesis)
假說:
在成堆的書面資料中,有一小部份關鍵性文件記錄著任何專案管理的核心工作,而這些文件是身為管理者最重要的工具。
The hypothesis:
Amid a wash of paper, a small number of documents become the critical pivots around which every project’s management revolves. These are the manager’s chief personal tools.
 
Ch11 失敗為成功之母(Plan to Throw One Away)
這世界唯一不變的就是這世界一直都在變
There is nothing in this world constant but inconstancy.  斯威夫特
你得以平常心看待失敗,試試這個,如果行不通,就老老實實接受行不通的事實,再試試那個。總之,要成功,就得去試一試。
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something  富蘭克林. 羅斯福
 
Ch12 神兵利器(Sharp Tools)
巧匠以他所使用的工具而聞名
A good workman is known by his tools  諺語
 
Ch13 化整為零(The Whole and the Parts)
我可以召喚地底的幽魂。
啊!這我也會,什麼人都會;可是當您召喚它們的時候,它們就真的會來嗎?
I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Why so can I, or so can any man; but will they come when you do call for them? 莎士比亞,<亨利四世>,上篇
 
Ch14 釀成大災難(Hatching a Catastrophe)
沒有人會給報壞消息的人好臉色看
None love the bearer of bad news. 沙孚克里斯
為什麼專案會落後一年?
…因為每次落後一天。
How does a project get to be a year late?
… One day at a time
 
Ch15 一體兩面(The Other Face)
我們無法主宰我們不了解的東西
What we do not understand we do not process  哥德
哦!請賜予我簡單平實的評論者,
他們不會諱莫如深到讓人困惑不解。
O give me commentators plain,
Who with no deep researches vex the brain. 克拉布
 
Ch16 沒有銀彈:軟體工程的本質性與附屬性工作(No Silver Bullet – Essence and Accident in Software Engineering)
在未來的十年之內,無論是在技術上或管理上,都不會有任何單一的重大突破能夠保證在生產力、可靠度或簡潔性上獲得改善,甚至,連一個數量級的改善都不會有。
There is no single development, in either technology or management technique, which by itself promises even one order-of-magnitude improvement within a decade in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity.
 
Ch17 再論"沒有銀彈"("No Silver Bullet" Refired)
無論中彈與否,都是命中註定
Every bullet has its billet 英格蘭威廉三世,奧蘭治公爵
無論誰想要看到十全十美的東西,那麼就去想像一下那種過去不曾有過、現在也沒有,而未來也不會存在的事物。
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
Thinks what ne’er was, nor is, nor e’er shall be 亞歷山大.波普,<An Essayon Chriticism>
 
Ch18 <人月神話>的主張:是真是假?(Propositions of The Mythical Man-Month: True or False?)
不管別人懂不懂我們的意思,
簡單扼要都非常好。
For brevity is very good,
Where we are, or are not understood. 巴特勒,<Hudibras>

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