Issue No.01 - January/February (1998 vol.15)
In his opening essay, Ed Yourdon forecasts both a happy and an unhappy future. His bright future promises challenging projects, exciting technologies, innovative applications, giant salaries, and lucrative stock options. His gloomy future warns of US federal and state government departments unable to solve their Year 2000 problem, a business revolt against expensive and troublesome software that delivers no apparent economic benefits, and a consequent drying up of money to buy new releases of COTS software or to finance new software development. The good news and the bad news are essentially commercial. But the dark cloud of Yourdon's bad future offers a silver lining: if it comes to pass, there might be demands for certification and licensing of software professionals and for a formal approach to software development. In a word, we might be expected to become serious software engineers. We won't, of course. Yourdon is confident that we have learned a lot about soft-ware processes, methods, and techniques; he says that we have a vast body of knowledge in requirements, risk management, metrics, testing, and quality assurance incorporated into the SEI Capability Maturity Model. So that's all right, then. We don't really need software engineering in the narrow academic sense.
Michael Jackson, "Will There Ever Be Software Engineering?", IEEE Software, vol.15, no. 1, pp. 36-39, January/February 1998, doi:10.1109/MS.1998.646877