Friday, December 11, 2009

Introducing SEMAT

I'm trained as a nuclear and mechanical engineer. In those disciplines, there's an underlying body of knowledge and practice for design and implementation, based on a couple hundred years of experimentation and data analysis, on what works and what doesn't, and why.

Software "engineering" as it is practiced where I usually have worked, seems to be 75% gut feel and 20% anecdotal experience, with the remaining 5% subject to real analysis. I am committed to bringing at least some of the discipline of field engineering (those parts I understand well, and can adapt) to the practice of producing software.

A group of the leading lights in methodology and architecture have come together to form SEMAT -- an acronym of "Software Engineering Method and Theory", with the goal to "refound software engineering based on a solid theory, proven principles, and best practices". It would sound like so much smoke, but consider some of the signatories:

Scott Ambler
Barry Boehm
Bill Curtis
James Odell
Ivar Jacobson
Erich Gamma

The list is quite long, and luminous.

I suggest you go have a look: I'm looking forward to finding out what Scott Ambler and Ivar Jacobson can agree on.

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