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Fred Brooks had a huge influence on me as a young adult—both as a software engineer and as a manager. But today, looking back at everything he said (and I believed)—it seems to me there’s another way. I can’t claim that it’s better, him being Fred Brooks and all; but I really think its foundations are more humanistic, and it’s more in-line with the future.

How I Agreed

The first book I read on management was Peopleware. Its premise was simple: managers should guide and enable their employees, who will do wonderful job just by virtue of being smart, wonderful people in an autonomous, wonderful environment. It was a horrible failure; more due to me and to the team being young and inexperienced than to Peopleware being wrong, but still—it made me naturally gravitate towards the opposite school of thought, where I discovered the Mythical Man-Month.

“Whereas Peopleware says managers should be like kindergarten teachers,” I would passionately explain, indulging myself with a dash of demagogy, “The Mythical Man Month says they’re surgeons. I mean, there’s a reason you were put in charge of the project—you know how to do it best, and the rest of the team is there to assist you in making it happen, not the other way around.” …


Dan Gittik

Lecturer at Tel Aviv university. Having worked in Military Intelligence, Google and Magic Leap, I’m passionate about the intersection of theory and practice.

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