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The Need for Software Engineering

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1 Author(s)

Early in this decade a set of programming practices began to appear that seemed to offer a way out of the software difficulties accompanying the development of large systems. These practices, developed by Brooks,1 Baker,2 Dijkstra,3 Mills,4,5 and others, included structured programming, top-down development, chief programmer teams, HIPO (hierarchy/input-process-output) documentation, development support library, and structured walk-throughs. But despite the increasing amount of software development ment and its rising cost relative to the defense budget, corporation expenditures, and even the gross national product, the new programming techniques have not been adopted by acclamation. McClure,6 surveying the scene at COMPCON '76 Spring, saw "the great masses of programmers conducting their business exactly as they did five years ago." Nor was there the slightest sign in McClure's 5-year projection of "strong winds of change." His intuition was later supported by a survey of major Los Angeles area corporations,7 which concluded that, for all the fanfare, "the techniques are simply not widely used."

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 2 )