A Short History of Software Engineering

As part of writing my first book, I put together a point-form history of parallel computing. Several people subsequently told me how useful it was in helping them understand the context of papers they were reading (and one guy republished it on the web under his own name, but that’s another story). A recent blog post by Matt Heusser containing notes toward a history of software testing has got me thinking that I’d really like to have something similar for both research and practice in software engineering. Kind of strapped for time right now, but I’m willing to get the ball rolling:

  • 1947: first bug found (by Grace Hopper, in the Aiken Mark II).
  • 1968: first use of the term in the title of the NATO Software Engineering Conference.
  • 1975: first publication of Brooks' The Mythical Man-Month.
  • 2000: world doesn't end.

What would you add?

Later: should have been more specific—if you’d like to suggest an addition, please provide the year and a Twitter-sized description of the event / invention / product / publication / discovery. “OOP should be on your list!” or “Everyone should read XYZ!” aren’t history…