What are some significant software projects in the history of computing?

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Mudassir Ali
Feb 04, 2020 02:52 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 04, 2020 02:52 PM

One of the biggest software projects took place long ago, when there were only mainframes and IBM ruled the roost. After a sequence of largely incompatible new computers, IBM decided to create a comprehensive range of computers, compatible vertically and horizontally. They also decided on one true operating system to rule them all. (Well, actually, one OS with two flavors: OS and DOS.)

This turned out to be a mindbogglingly complicated and expensive effort. Perhaps apocryphally, this was known as the first time programmer team sizes were measured in Mongolian hordes (1,000 programmers each). Almost all lessons which could be learned about large scale development were there to stumble over.

Fortunately, the head of this project was Fred Brooks, and in the subsequent calmness of his academic career he wrote The Mythical Man Month (1975), one of the (very few) classics on software engineering. (If you are tempted to read this, make sure you get the edition with the later essay, “No Silver Bullet — Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering”

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