Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Life cycle considered harmful - stop - I want to get off

Let's not fool ourselves into thinking that our grandparents programmed in a world unfettered by software development lifecycles and the like (Gladden, 1982; McCracken & Jackson, 1982). What appears striking from these accounts is that the authors appear to have established their careers as programmers without the 'benefits' of standard life cycles or packaged methodologies.

It may be of interest to reflect on the careers of these early critics of software development life cycles. Michael A. Jackson (link) went on to develop JSP (Jackson Structured Programming) and subsequently JSD (Jackson System Development). Both design methods for system development rather than lifecycles or management frameworks. McCraken's career also flourished (link) in industry and academia. I have no further knowledge about G. R.Gladden aside from his/her role as quality assurance supervisor at Honeywell's building services division in 1982.

Gladden, G. R. (1982) Stop the life-cycle, I want to get off. ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, 7, 35-39.
Mccracken, D. D. & Jackson, M. A. (1982) Life cycle concept considered harmful. ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, 7, 29-32.