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Beautiful Teams by Jennifer Greene, Andrew Stellman

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Chapter 17. Memories of TRW's Software Productivity Project: A Beautiful Team, Challenged to Change the Culture[18]

Barry Boehm

Maria H. Penedo

and

Background on the Software Productivity Project

IN THE EARLY 1980S, I (MARIA) WAS LOOKING FOR A JOB AFTER FINISHING MY DOCTORATE IN computer science at UCLA. I was full of enthusiasm for the field I was in and a little concerned about the kinds of jobs I would find. I wanted a place where I could follow my passion and make contributions. I had met Barry at one of the conferences where I presented some of my research results, and thus went to interview with him at TRW. During the interview, Barry described the environment around the company and told me about this new project he was starting whose objective was to revolutionize the way the company developed software.

Barry told me that he had conducted a software productivity study [1] in the company, which performed an economic analysis to determine whether a significant level of investment into software productivity aids would be justified. The factors that led to the analysis were driven by an overall corporate focus on industry and international competitiveness, but also included increased demand for software, limited supply of software engineers, rising software engineer support expectations, and reduced hardware costs—do they all sound familiar even today? This study led to the project that he wanted me to work on, the Software Productivity Project (SPP) [2,3]. He told me it ...

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