Having over-run on the previous episode, here’s the end of it, where I actually get as far as discussing No Silver Bullet—Essence and Accident in Software Engineering. This is a really great article about how no single improvement to software development practices is likely to provide an order-of-magnitude improvement in capability.
Brad Cox asked What if there’s a silver bullet…and the competition gets there first?, and followed it up by saying There is a silver bullet.
One input to the essential complexity Brooks mentioned was the need to change, which has been explored in much more detail by Manny Lehman in his laws of software evolution. I link to a recent critique of the laws by a proponent of evidence-based software engineering, because less is settled in software engineering than we might like.