Watts Humphrey

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Watts Humphrey
Born(1927 -07-04)July 4, 1927
Battle Creek, Michigan
Died October 28, 2010 (2010 -10-28) (aged 83)
Known for Capability Maturity Model
Awards National Medal of Technology
Scientific career
Fields Software engineering
Institutions IBM, Software Engineering Institute

Watts S. Humphrey (July 4, 1927 – October 28, 2010) was an American pioneer in software engineering, who was called the "father of software quality." [1]

Software engineering is the application of engineering to the development of software in a systematic method.

In the context of software engineering, software quality refers to two related but distinct notions:



Watts Humphrey (whose grandfather and father also had the same name) was born in Battle Creek, Michigan on July 4, 1927. His uncle was US Secretary of the Treasury George M. Humphrey. [2] In 1944, he graduated from high school and served in the United States Navy. [3] Despite dyslexia, he received a bachelor of science in physics from the University of Chicago, a master of science in physics from Illinois Institute of Technology physics department, and a master of business administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. [1]

Battle Creek, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Battle Creek is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, in northwest Calhoun County, at the confluence of the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek rivers. It is the principal city of the Battle Creek, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which encompasses all of Calhoun County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 52,347, while the MSA's population was 136,146.

George M. Humphrey American politician

George Magoffin Humphrey was an American lawyer, businessman and banker. He served as the United States Secretary of the Treasury for President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

In 1953 he went to Boston and worked at Sylvania Labs. In 1959 he joined IBM. [4] In the late 1960s, Humphrey headed the IBM software team that introduced the first software license. Humphrey was a vice president at IBM.

Boston Capital city of Massachusetts, United States

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States.

Sylvania Electric Products U.S. manufacturer of diverse electrical equipment

Sylvania Electric Products was a U.S. manufacturer of diverse electrical equipment, including at various times radio transceivers, vacuum tubes, semiconductors, and mainframe computers such as MOBIDIC. They were one of the companies involved in the development of the COBOL programming language.

IBM American multinational technology and consulting corporation

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) and was renamed "International Business Machines" in 1924.

In the 1980s at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University Humphrey founded the Software Process Program, and served as director of that program from 1986 until the early 1990s. This program was aimed at understanding and managing the software engineering process because this is where big and small organizations or individuals encounter the most serious difficulties and where, thereafter, lies the best opportunity for significant improvement.

Software Engineering Institute

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is an American research and development center headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Its activities cover cybersecurity, software assurance, software engineering and acquisition, and component capabilities critical to the Department of Defense.

Carnegie Mellon University private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private research university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees. In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to form Carnegie Mellon University. With its main campus located 3 miles (5 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon has grown into an international university with over a dozen degree-granting locations in six continents, including campuses in Qatar and Silicon Valley, and more than 20 research partnerships.

The program resulted in the development of the Capability Maturity Model, published in 1989 in Humphrey's "Managing the Software Process" [5] and inspired the later development of the personal software process (PSP) and the team software process (TSP) concepts. [1]

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a development model created after a study of data collected from organizations that contracted with the U.S. Department of Defense, who funded the research. The term "maturity" relates to the degree of formality and optimization of processes, from ad hoc practices, to formally defined steps, to managed result metrics, to active optimization of the processes.

The Personal Software Process (PSP) is a structured software development process that is intended (planned) to help software engineers better understand and improve their performance by bringing discipline to the way they develop software and tracking their predicted and actual development of the code. It clearly shows developers how to manage the quality of their products, how to make a sound plan, and how to make commitments. It also offers them the data to justify their plans. They can evaluate their work and suggest improvement direction by analyzing and reviewing development time, defects, and size data. The PSP was created by Watts Humphrey to apply the underlying principles of the Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) Capability Maturity Model (CMM) to the software development practices of a single developer. It claims to give software engineers the process skills necessary to work on a team software process (TSP) team.

In combination with the personal software process (PSP), the team software process (TSP) provides a defined operational process framework that is designed to help teams of managers and engineers organize projects and produce software products that range in size from small projects of several thousand lines of code (KLOC) to very large projects greater than half a million lines of code. The TSP is intended to improve the levels of quality and productivity of a team's software development project, in order to help them better meet the cost and schedule commitments of developing a software system.

Humphrey received an honorary doctor of software engineering from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1998. The Watts Humphrey Software Quality Institute in Chennai, India was named after him in 2000. [6] In 2005, Humphrey was awarded the National Medal of Technology. [7] Humphrey became a fellow of the SEI and of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2008. [8]

Chennai Megacity in Tamil Nadu, India

Chennai is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural, economic and educational centre of south India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth most populous city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city together with the adjoining regions constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked the 43rd most visited city in the world for the year 2015. The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India. Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists. As such, it is termed "India's health capital". As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Chennai confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is an international learned society for computing. It was founded in 1947, and is the world's largest scientific and educational computing society. The ACM is a non-profit professional membership group, with nearly 100,000 members as of 2019. Its headquarters are in New York City.

See also


Humphrey is the author of several books, including

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  1. 1 2 3 "National Medal of Technology Winner Watts Humphrey, 1927 - 2010". Press release. Software Engineering Institute. October 28, 2010. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  2. Grady Booch (April 19, 2010). "Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 9: Family History, Phase Plans, and Labs Around the World". Inform IT. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  3. "Watts Humphrey: An Outrageous Commitment, A Lifelong Mission". Software Engineering Institute collections. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  4. "Food for Thought" (PDF). Software Quality Consulting, Inc. December 2010. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  5. Hillel Glazer, Jeff Dalton, David Anderson, Michael D. Konrad and Sandra Shrum (November 2008). "CMMI or Agile: Why Not Embrace Both!". CMU/SEI Report Number: CMU/SEI-2008-TN-003. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  6. "Watts S. Humphrey". Speaker biography for SIGAda 2004. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  7. "Founder of SEI Software Process Program honored for contributions to software engineering community". Press release. Software Engineering Institute. February 15, 2005. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  8. "ACM Fellows (2008)". ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). Retrieved 2009-03-26. Watts S. Humphrey, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University; Citation: For contributions to software engineering process discipline.