1968 - Kevlin Henney

It’s half a century since the NATO Software Engineering conference in Garmisch. How are we doing? Are we nearly there yet? Or is there no there there?

The world of software development has changed so much and in so many ways since 1968 that it’s difficult to imagine what we could learn from the past, but it’s learning rather than imagination that’s the constraint. There was no shortage of imagination, insight and inspiration in the 1960s and 1970s, and in many ways the apple of 21st-century software development has fallen disappointingly close to the tree of the past.

So let’s turn back the clock to see what we could have learned from the past, what we can still learn from the past and what the future might hold in store for code and its development.

About the speaker

Kevlin Henney


Kevlin Henney is an independent consultant, speaker, writer and trainer. His development interests are in patterns, programming, practice and process. He has been a columnist for a number of magazines and sites, has contributed to both open- and closed-source software, and has been on far too many committees (it has been said that ‘a committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled’).

Kevlin is co-author of A Pattern Language for Distributed Computing and On Patterns and Pattern Languages, two volumes in the Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture series. He is also editor of 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know. Kevlin lives in Bristol and online.