Second-system effect

The second-system effect (also known as second-system syndrome) is the tendency of small, elegant, and successful systems, to be succeeded by over-engineered, bloated systems, due to inflated expectations and overconfidence.[1]

The phrase was first used by Fred Brooks in his book The Mythical Man-Month, first published in 1975. It described the jump from a set of simple operating systems on the IBM 700/7000 series to OS/360 on the 360 series, which happened in 1964.[2]

See also


  1. Raymond, Eric. "Second-system effect". The Jargon File. Retrieved 24 Jun 2013.
  2. Brooks Jr., Frederick P. (1975). "The Second-System Effect". The Mythical Man-Month: essays on software engineering (PDF). Addison Wesley Longman. pp. 53–58. ISBN 0-201-00650-2.

This article is based on material taken from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing prior to 1 November 2008 and incorporated under the "relicensing" terms of the GFDL, version 1.3 or later.

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