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Software More an Art Than a Science?

Infoworld ran a story yesterday on comments made by Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Craig Mundie

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Infoworld ran a story yesterday on comments made by Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Craig Mundie. “The problem is,” said Mundie, “that software development is an important endeavor but it has not matured as an engineering process, it's still an art form.” He was responding to the claim that Microsoft is racing too fast into the brave new world of a “multidevice environment where mobile phones get smart, and people will demand both integration and segregation of their various computing devices”, when Windows can’t function without having to be constantly patched and updated.

Merriam-Webster defines “art” as: “The conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.” It defines “engineering” as: “The design and manufacture of complex products.” Hmm… Perhaps part of the reason that software “has not matured as an engineering process” is because we like to think of ourselves as artists, consciously using our skill and creative imagination, rather than engineers, somehow involved in the manufacturing process.

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Nigel Cheshire is CEO of Enerjy Software, a division of Teamstudio Inc. He oversees product strategy and has been driving the company's growth since he founded it in 1996. Prior to founding Teamstudio, Inc., Nigel was co-founder and principal of Ives & Company, a CRM solutions consultancy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Teesside, England.

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