The Technical and Social History of Software Engineering

Book description

“Capers Jones has accumulated the most comprehensive data on every aspect of software engineering, and has performed the most scientific analysis on this data. Now, Capers performs yet another invaluable service to our industry, by documenting, for the first time, its long and fascinating history. Capers’ new book is a must-read for every software engineering student and information technology professional.”

— From the Foreword by Tony Salvaggio, CEO and president, Computer Aid, Inc.

Software engineering is one of the world’s most exciting and important fields. Now, pioneering practitioner Capers Jones has written the definitive history of this world-changing industry. Drawing on several decades as a leading researcher and innovator, he illuminates the field’s broad sweep of progress and its many eras of invention. He assesses the immense impact of software engineering on society, and previews its even more remarkable future. Decade by decade, Jones examines trends, companies, winners, losers, new technologies, productivity/quality issues, methods, tools, languages, risks, and more. He reviews key inventions, estimates industry growth, and addresses “mysteries” such as why programming languages gain and lose popularity. Inspired by Paul Starr’s Pulitzer Prize–winning The Social Transformation of American Medicine, Jones’ new book is a tour de force—and compelling reading for everyone who wants to understand how software became what it is today.


• The human need to compute: from ancient times to the modern era

• Foundations of computing: Alan Turing, Konrad Zuse, and World War II

• Big business, big defense, big systems: IBM, mainframes, and COBOL

• A concise history of minicomputers and microcomputers: the birth of Apple and Microsoft

• The PC era: DOS, Windows, and the rise of commercial software

• Innovations in writing and managing code: structured development, objects, agile, and more

• The birth and explosion of the Internet and the World Wide Web

• The growing challenges of legacy system maintenance and support

• Emerging innovations, from wearables to intelligent agents to quantum computing

• Cybercrime, cyberwarfare, and large-scale software failure

Table of contents

  1. About This eBook
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Foreword by Walker Royce
  6. Foreword by Tony Salvaggio
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. About the Author
  10. Chapter 1. Prelude: Computing from Ancient Times to the Modern Era
    1. The Human Need to Compute
    2. Early Sequence of Numerical Knowledge
    3. Inventions for Improved Mathematics
    4. Key Inventions Relevant to Software
    5. The Impact of Software on People and Society
    6. Summary
  11. Chapter 2. 1930 to 1939: The Foundations of Digital Computing
    1. The First Innovators of Modern Computing
    2. Small Mathematical Applications
    3. Summary
  12. Chapter 3. 1940 to 1949: Computing During World War II and the Postwar Era
    1. Global Conflict and Computing
    2. Wartime Innovations
    3. Computers in the Postwar Era
    4. Historical Contributions of the Decade
    5. Building Software in 1945
    6. Summary
  13. Chapter 4. 1950 to 1959: Starting the Ascent of Digital Computers and Software
    1. Military and Defense Computers in the 1950s
    2. Innovators of the 1950s
    3. Programming Languages of the 1950s
    4. The First Commercial Computers
    5. Software Applications in the 1950s
    6. Function Points in 1955
    7. Summary
  14. Chapter 5. 1960 to 1969: The Rise of Business Computers and Business Software
    1. An Evolving Workforce
    2. Early Specialized Outsourcing
    3. Computer Programmers in the 1960s
    4. IBM System/360
    5. The Turing Award
    6. The Invention of the Credit Card
    7. Automation and New Professions
    8. The DEC PDP-1
    9. Programming Languages of the 1960s
    10. The Computer Business of the 1960s
    11. Litigation Changes the Computer World Forever
    12. Computers and Software in Space
    13. Computer and Software Growth in the 1960s
    14. Function Points Backfired for 1965
    15. Summary
  15. Chapter 6. 1970 to 1979: Computers and Software Begin Creating Wealth
    1. Software Evolution in the 1970s
    2. Major Companies Formed During the 1970s
    3. Computer and Software Companies Formed During the 1970s
    4. The Impact of Companies Founded During the 1970s
    5. The Troublesome Growth of Software Applications
    6. Numerous Fragmented Software Subcategories
    7. A Lawsuit That Changed Computer History
    8. Background Enabling Inventions
    9. Function Points in 1975
    10. Summary
  16. Chapter 7. 1980 to 1989: The Rise of Personal Computers and Personal Software
    1. Rapid Changes in Computing
    2. Companies Formed During the 1980s
    3. The Growth of Software During the 1980s
    4. Results for 1,000 Function Points Circa 1985
    5. Summary
  17. Chapter 8. 1990 to 1999: Expansion of the World Wide Web and the Rise of Dot-Coms
    1. Emergence of the World Wide Web
    2. Other Innovations of the 1990s
    3. Companies Formed During the 1990s
    4. Mass Updates and Aging Legacy Software
    5. Incompatibilities of International Date Formats
    6. The Expansion of Outsourcing
    7. Growth of Software Applications During the 1990s
    8. Results for 1,000 Function Points Circa 1995
    9. Summary
  18. Chapter 9. 2000 to 2009: The Rise of Social Networks and Economic Crises
    1. The Dot-Com Bubble
    2. The Great Recession
    3. Innovations of the 2000s
    4. Companies Formed During the 2000s
    5. Growth of Software from 2000 to 2010
    6. Results for 1,000 Function Points Circa 2005
    7. Summary
  19. Chapter 10. 2010 to 2019: Clouds, Crowds, Blogs, Big Data, and Predictive Analytics
    1. Predicting the Future
    2. Professional Status for Software Engineering
    3. Possible Software Engineering Improvements in the 2010s
    4. Companies Formed During the Early 2010s
    5. Predicting New Companies and Products from 2013 to 2019
    6. Projected Growth of Software from 2010 to 2019
    7. Results for 1,000 Function Points Circa 2015
    8. Summary
  20. Chapter 11. Modern Software Problems
    1. Analysis of Major Software Failures
    2. Summary
  21. Chapter 12. A Brief History of Cybercrime and Cyberwarfare
    1. A New Form of Crime
    2. Types of Cyberattacks
    3. The Odds of Being Attacked
    4. Improving Defenses Against Cyberattacks
    5. Raising Our Immunity to Cyberattacks
    6. The Increasing Frequency and Costs of Cyberattacks in the United States
    7. Summary
  22. Annotated Bibliography and References
    1. Book Sources
    2. Web Sources
  23. Index

Product information

  • Title: The Technical and Social History of Software Engineering
  • Author(s):
  • Release date: November 2013
  • Publisher(s): Addison-Wesley Professional
  • ISBN: 9780133365924