From the Editor
IEEE Software, November/December 2002
Changing of the Guard
IEEE Software began life in 1984 as the first IEEE
Computer Society periodical to focus specifically on software. Under the
leadership of Bruce Shriver, the magazine devoted itself to the leading
issues in software engineering and quickly established itself as the
premiere publication in the software development field.
Ted Lewis took over IEEE Software's editorship in
1987, continuing the magazine's focus on innovative software development
practices, occupying a unique niche at the crossroads between industry and
In 1991, Carl Chang took the helm as editor in chief.
Carl sharpened the editorial focus on "low-hanging fruit"software
development practices that had proven their value in research contexts or
that had been used successfully in a few production environments but that
hadn't yet made the leap into common use. Carl founded the magazine's
Industrial Advisory Board, whose purpose was to ensure that the magazine
stay focused on issues useful to industry rather than becoming just another
Al Davis succeeded Carl Chang in 1995. Al continued to
sharpen the magazine's focus on practical content. He identified article
genres of interest to practitioners, including case studies, experience
reports, how to's, and essays. He appointed more members from industry to
the magazine's Editorial Board and shifted the magazine's emphasis further
from research-oriented articles toward content that practitioners would find
By the time I became editor in chief, I had regarded
IEEE Software as the leading software development publication for many
years. The magazine had established a distinguished legacy of thought
leadership, and I considered it to be an honor and a privilege to follow in
the footsteps of Bruce Shriver, Ted Lewis, Carl Chang, and Al Davis. Toward
the end of Al's term, our editorial and advisory boards formalized the
magazine's mission statement: "building the community of leading software
practitioners." My focus has been to carry out that mission in our column
areas, theme issues, and general articles.
It's hard to believe that four years have passed since I
became editor in chief. These years have been an exciting time in the
software industry. We've seen Y2K come in with a bang and go out with a
whimper. We've seen the rise and fall of the dot-coms. We've seen the US
labor market for software developers change from an extraordinary seller's
market, in which programmers received high salaries, stock option grants,
and signing bonuses, to a buyer's market, in which many experienced
developers are glad to work at whatever job they can find. We've seen a
significant increase in software development activity around the world,
, and many other areas.
The past four years have also seen interesting and
significant changes in software methodologies. Web development has evolved
from a novelty that only a few leading-edge companies attempted to one of
the most common varieties of software work. Open source development came in
like a hurricane and has now quieted to a gentle breeze that seems to be of
interest mostly to people working on Internet systems applications.
Methodology discussions have moved from the ivory towers of academia and the
Software Engineering Institute into the mainstream world of programmers who
attend the Agile Universe conference and read books about Extreme
Programming, the Rational Unified Process, and other current methodologies.
The profession of software engineering has advanced by
leaps and bounds during this period. The Software Engineering Body of
Knowledge project developed and released version 1.0 of the SWEBOK.
Curriculum guidelines for undergraduate software engineering programs have
been developed, and the number of undergraduate software engineering
has grown from two to more than two dozen. To provide ethical guidance to
software professionals, the two largest professional organizations for
software developers (the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society) have defined and
adopted a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for software engineers.
The past four years as editor in chief of IEEE
Software have provided many of the high points of my career in the
software field. Participating in the magazine I have regarded since the
1980s as the best source of information for leading software practitioners
has been a thrill. Our annual Editorial Board and Industrial Advisory Board
meetings are more stimulating than any software conference I've attended.
I've enjoyed my numerous conversations with our article authors, referees,
and board members. Our associate editors in chiefMaarten Boasson, Terry
Bollinger, Christof Ebert, Ann Miller, Jeffrey Voas, and Wolfgang
Strigelhave been especially supportive of the magazine, and I've learned a
lot from each of them. I've also enjoyed the numerous letters and emails
we've received from our readers.
Into The Sunset
After four years, I feel I've made as much contribution
to the magazine as I can as editor, and, coincidentally, IEEE Computer
Society policy limits each editor's term to four years. Consequently, it is
with both wistfulness and some relief that I note that this is my last issue
as editor in chief.
Because this is a volunteer activity, IEEE Software
has also consumed many nights, weekends, and vacation days. When my term ends,
I'm planning to turn my attention to my company, Construx Software, and to
make progress on some long-dormant writing projects. I plan to publish a
second edition of After the Gold Rush early in 2003 and to complete a book
on software estimation by the end of 2003. I have a large stack of magazines
and an even larger stack of software engineering books to read. (The past
four years have produced an amazing wealth of new software engineering
books, which has been an exciting development in itself.)
Passing The Baton
I am very pleased to announce that the IEEE Computer
Society has appointed Warren Harrison to be editor in chief of IEEE
Software beginning with the January 2003 issue.
was a member of the IEEE Software Editorial Board from 1991 to 1992 and
has nearly 15 years of editorial experience. He has served as the North
American editor and the editor in chief of Software Quality Journal, and he
was cofounder and managing editor in chief of Empirical Software
's interests include software measurement and decision-making, quality,
software engineering economics, and project management, as well as Internet
technologies. He has hands-on software product development experience. He
cofounded a software tools company called SET Laboratories, which
specialized in software metrics analysis tools. His academic research has
involved diverse industrial partnerships, and he maintains a strong
practical focus on the useful application of new techniques and
received his PhD in computer science from
in 1986 and is a professor of computer science at
has many great ideas that I think will help IEEE Software maintain its
position as the leading software periodical. I encourage you to send
your article ideas, theme issue ideas, and letters to the editor (in care of
email@example.com) and to help him fulfill the magazine's mission of
"building the community of leading software practitioners."
Editor: Steve McConnell, Construx Software, 11820 Northup
Way, Suite E200, Bellevue, WA 98008.