The Praxis of Software Engineering
On the last day of the Rome conference, Christopher Strachey spoke of the relationship between theory and practice: "one of the unspoken underlying themes of this meeting". He reported a view he had heard the previous night, that the people who were actually writing very large programs "were invited here like a lot of monkeys to be looked at by the theoreticians", and he "sought to make a little bridge" between the (theoretical) computer scientists and the (practical) software engineers.
Strachey's subsequent comments were generous, perceptive, and seem as relevant today as thirty years ago. Yet there has been progress, and not just that there are now professors of software engineering as well as professors of computer science!This lecture provides a partial view of what progress has been made, and attempts to answer Strachey's question about the relationship between theory and practice.