I write to prod designers and design project managers into thinking hard about the process of designing things, especially complex systems. The viewpoint is that of an engineer, focused on utility and effectiveness but also on efficiency and elegance.1

Who Should Read This Book?

In The Mythical Man-Month I aimed at “professional programmers, professional managers, and especially professional managers of programmers.” I argued the necessity, difficulty, and methods of achieving conceptual integrity when software is built by teams.

This book widens the scope considerably and adds lessons from 35 more years. Design experiences convince me that there are constants across design processes in a diverse range of design domains. Hence the target ...

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