The Promise, The Limits, And The Beauty Of Software

Grady BoochThis evening I went along to this years Turing Lecture, an annual presentation hosted by the British Computer Society (of which I’m a professional member) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. This years lecture was given by Grady Booch, someone that most people in IT will either have heard of or, at the very least, been influenced by. He started his early career working on object oriented design and is currently passionately working on a project to collect the architectures of a hundred computer systems.

It’s difficult to pick out highlights, partially as there were quite a few but mainly because I wasn’t taking notes and can’t remember half of the parts that I pledged to write about. I do remember that he gave a one line summary of every decade from the 1920’s, culminating in the 2030’s being described as “The Rise of the Machines.” Hopefully not in the same way as in the Terminator movies. And on a smaller scale he talked about his front door bell crashing and why, as an IBM Fellow, he was using a PowerBook and mocking some less reliable operating systems.

The lecture was broadcast live on the Internet and, they tell me, will be available to watch probably by the time you’re reading this on the IET website. It’s well worth a watch.