Friday, March 26, 2010

In software engineering we’ll never reach a plateau

On March 12th and 13th I attended the 20th anniversary of the Masters of Software Engineering Program at Carnegie Mellon. It was great to reconnect with alumni and learn about the continuing progress of the professional software engineering program.

The Saturday program included a talk by Bill Scherlis, a professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and Director of the Institute for Software Research, who talked about the current and future state of the software engineering practice.

Key points:
- There is constant struggle for order & predictability, but the more we struggle the less we succeed.
- Productivity paradox – economists still cannot clearly measure impact of software / IT.
- Constant innovation is the mantra of the software world – we’ll never reach a plateau. As soon as we reach a "stable" state we'll have various pressures requiring us to innovate.
- Disruptions happen all the time. Change is constant.
- Conway’s law is still the law.
- More’s law is still the law.
- The end users also have the same burden of keeping on top of innovation as they still need to keep making good choices.

The general ideas of the talk can be found in this article.

Constantin Kostenko
Firebrand Architect®

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