To Design is Human: Designing with Components and Models: are tools, or people, the real issue?

Advanced Programming Specialist Group event

Thursday 9th February 2006, 6.00 pm

The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2 7HA. The nearest underground stations are Covent Garden or Charing Cross.

Alan O'Callaghan, Senior Lecturer and Industrial Consultant, School of Computing, De Montfort University.

Software development based on components and models, the holy grail of software engineering since the 1960's, is now being accepted as mainstream. These technical concepts are now tangible, why then does the 'Software Crisis' seem no nearer to resolution?

My own industrial experience, up to and including the use of the Model Driven Architecture (MDA), suggests that all we have really achieved to date is to reveal the underlying problems more quickly, and more sharply.

This talk will suggest that during the entire history of software engineering we have underplayed its role as a design discipline; for example, University courses do not typically teach design beyond a cursory data structures and algorithms module. 'Computer Science' is seen rather as an arcane branch of Mathematics whose main motto might be 'If it moves, automate it'.

My own view is that design skill is a human attribute that cannot be automated away. The need is to increase the level of design expertise in our community. I will put forward my ideas on how this might be done, and describe some of my activity in this area, particularly in regard to Design Patterns and Pattern Languages

Free, but to gain admission please e-mail your name to our Vice-Chairman, Dr Frank Martin, at - Notification is required individually for each meeting.

CPD Value:
Half unit