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Chapter 1: History

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There are different perceptions with respect to the identification of the publication which introduced the concepts on software process technologies. The oldest one is appointed by Lehman in /Lehman, 1987/. He suggests that the paper of Benington in 1956 /Benington, 1956/ "Production of Large Computer Programs" with the proposed nine-phase stage-wise model for software development set-up the basis to what was later entitled as the waterfall model.

Subsequently, the papers /Air Force, 1966/ "Computer Program Subsystem Development Milestones" and /Rosove, 1967/ "Developing Computer-based Information Systems" also foreshadowed the forthcoming waterfall model.

In 1969, M.M. Lehman /Lehman, 1969/ wrote the internal IBM study "The Programming Process" which introduced the first ideas for systems evolution and feedback.

The paper of /Royce, 1970/ "Managing the Development of Large Software Systems: Concepts and Techniques" improved the nine phase stage-wise model of Benington by adding explicit feedback loops as show in figure G.1: Waterfall Model and by introducing the concept of what is now known as prototyping.

The classic paper of Osterweil "Software Process are Process too" /Osterweil, 1987/ was denominated as the most influential paper of the ICSE (International Conference on Software Engineering) in 1987. Although this paper did not pioneer the concepts on process technologies it captured the attention of a much broader public than at the time when he published a similar paper with the same title, one year before, in the third international software process workshop (ISPW) /Dowson, 1986a/. The awarded paper mentions the similarities described by Knuth in 1968 /Knuth, 1968/ among cook recipes and processes: the cookbook is the process description while the carrying out of the recipes are processes. Osterweil defends the idea that software process and software products have much in common and uses a Pascal-like language for describing process.

As a response to the position of Osterweil, Lehman /Lehman, 1987/ argues that process programs are suitable for static descriptions of well-understood process but inadequate for dynamic process. Actually, software evolution is dedicated to handle dynamic modifications on the process model.

During the 70's, occasional papers approaching principles of software process technologies were published. The first gathering of papers in a conference session was held in 1981 at the 5th ICSE and the session was entitled "Life Cycle Considerations". Thereafter the following sessions had taken place at the ICSE conferences:

ICSE Year Sessions on process technologies
7th 1984
  • Development Models and Methods
  • 8th 1985
  • Environments: Life Cycle Support
  • 9th 1987
  • Measuring and Modeling the Software Process
  • Some Existing Software Process Models
  • Software Process Assessments and Improvements
  • 10th 1988
  • Process Models
  • 11th 1989
  • Process Assessment
  • Process Modeling
  • 12th 1990
  • Process Models 1
  • Process Models 2
  • 14th 1992
  • Software Processes
  • 15th 1993
  • Process I
  • Process II
  • Process III
  • 16th 1994
  • Process Modelling
  • Process Analysis and Improvement
  • 17th 1995
  • Process I
  • Process II
  • Process III
  • 18th 1996
  • Process Effectiveness
  • 19th 1997
  • Process
  • Process Improvement
  • 20th 1998
  • Experiences with Software Process Improvement
  • Process Improvement
  • 22nd 2000
  • S5.3 (FoSE): Process I
  • S10.3 (FoSE): Process II
  • In 1984, a group of researches aware of the new emerging discipline on process technologies organised the first international workshop on software process (ISPW) /Potts, 1984a/ with 18 presented papers. Since then, more than 20 workshops and conferences on process technologies have been taken place:

    ISPW - International Software Process Workshop with 10 meetings;
    ICSP - International Conference on Software Process with 5 meetings;
    IPTW - International Process Technologies Workshop with 1 meetings;
    EWSPT - European Workshop on Process Technologies with 7 meetings;

    National and Regional working groups has also been formed in the last years. The Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ) organises the Japanese Software Process Workshop (JSPW) since 1989. The German society Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) co-ordinates since 1994 the SIG 5.1.1. - "Vorgehensmodelle für die betriebliche Anwendungsentwicklung" (Software process models for commercial application development) which has annual workshops since 1994.

    The 12th Software Engineering Process Group Conference (SEPG 2000) is the first international conference and exposition for software process professionals. Sponsored by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and hosted by the Seattle Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN).

    In the last years some new workshops have been taken place as a mean of research projects dissemination such as:

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