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Fifty Years of Software Engineering or The View from Garmisch

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Brian RandellORCiD



On several earlier anniversaries of the 1968-69 NATO Software Engineering conferences I have acceded to requests to provide some reminiscences. I repeat some extracts from these reminiscences here, as a backdrop to brief comments on subsequent developments, and in particular on the distinctions between developing off-the-shelf package software and large one-off bespoke software systems. The software package industry had yet to come into existence in 1968-69, but has proved very successful. But some large software projects in the latter bespoke category still suffer from problems that are all too reminiscent of those that, in 1968, gave rise to discussion of a “software crisis”.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Randell B

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2018

Pages: 13

Print publication date: 14/05/2018

Acceptance date: 14/05/2018

Report Number: 1520

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle University

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK