Why is Software Fat?

Thursday 21 November 2013, 5.30pm - 7.30pm

Dr Rukhsar Shafiq MBCS, Professor in Strategic Studies, Chairman of the Willow Tree Technology Incubator and Chairman of BCS South Yorkshire Branch.


Consider the last 30 years. Computer hardware has improved at a monumental rate in that time. In fact the modern accomplishments in computing can be mainly explained by how well computer hardware has developed since 1969 and the US space programme that gave birth to VLSI.

Computer software has had many great milestones along the way.

The early versions of assembler and how they were able to use a tiny amount of computer hardware to create a complex computer. The beauty of Unix in the banking industry and the LAMP architecture it spawned to allow the internet to exist. Windows 3.1 and the introduction of a GUI that worked to mainstream society. The invention of email was truly of global historic importance when we look back at it.

The world of software has become more fractured, more complex and less easy to implement.

Computer science has become an abject failure in terms of software development and design.

The problems are serious and multiplying each year. The internet now has a software industry that is based upon no software design methodology. Most web developers follow no design approach and hence the internet is mushrooming the amount of rubbish that is being presented. Software is not an engineering concept and the academic teaching community is quite simply not competent to teach the discipline. There are exceptions to the rule. Gaming is one area where a purist approach remain. Financial services is a good example of vast resources being spent to produce rubbish.

This talk is supposed to be controvertial as it is meant to wake us up from the complacency of accepting bad software in our lives.


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