‘The mythical man month’ is the most known classic in software engineering. Raised a lot of important notions, including the famous ‘no silver bullet’ assert.
“There is no single development, in either technology or management technique, which by itself promises even one order of magnitude improvement within a decade in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity.”
The speed of software productivity improvements cannot match the speed of hardware updates in any forseeable way. This is limited by both the capacity of human communications, mainly because the number of bilateral communications increases as power of the number of people involved. Also, the constraints of communication and organization affects the division of labor in software engineering.
Another issue brought up is software tools enhancements. In recent years the explosion of networking and mobile technologies has made every single developer much more productive. However this still doesn’t meet the much more rapidly growing demand for quality software. Therefore the labor market responded with more and more software engineers in the industry.