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Lessons From the Fifty-Year Quest to Turn Programmers into Software Engineers
The term “software engineering” was first used in the title of a 1968 conference organized by NATO, at which academics and industry professionals met and agreed that software needed more engineering focus. A follow-up conference a year later, attempting to solve the problem, instead highlighted the gap between industry and academia. This split has widened in the intervening years, and software continues to lack the experimental basis of other engineering disciplines. Instead there has been a succession of what Fred Brooks called “silver bullets,” such as object-oriented programming and agile—attempts to find one single technique to address the complexity of software development. This talk will discuss the history of the industry/academia split, the attempts to solve the problem, and how modern software techniques, while still lacking the silver bullet, are finally making progress.


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Adam Barr @Software Consultant, Crosslake Technologies
Adam Barr worked as a programmer and manager at Microsoft for more than twenty years. He is the author of "Find the Bug," "Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters," and "The Problem with Software: Why Smart Engineers Write Bad Code." Adam now works for Crosslake Technologies as a software consultant.
Will Tracz @Former Chair of ACM SIGSOFT; Member, ACM Professional Development Committee
When he retired, Dr. Tracz was a principal software engineer/application architect for the Global Combat Support System - Air Force (GCSS-AF) program. He is currently the Special Projects Coordinator of the ACM Special Interest Group on Software Engineering (SIGSOFT), a member of the ACM Professional Development Committee, and US, ACM representative of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) Technical Committee (TC) 2 - Software Theory and Practice. He has served as the editor of the ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, general chair of the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), and the ACM Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE).