Tom Gilb (now a TikiWiki site)

Tom Gilb is a consultant, author and methodologist - in fact he probably wouldn't mind being called a terrorist with respect to traditional industrial software development*. His key work is PrinciplesOfSoftwareEngineeringManagement although he has written more on metrics and quality management since, much of which is available from the Gilb website.

* What's the difference between a methodologist and a terrorist? One can negotiate with a terrorist.


(I man from Mork, Tom, have arrived at this website, and love being a terrorist!) -- TomGilb

See below for TomDeMarco's man from Mork comment. But the question now arises from the new-look website: does Kai count as a SecondGenerationProgrammer Tom? -- RichardDrake


Howdy Tom ..... I have been aware of Evo since early 1990 and as such its a pleasure and honor to say hello. --DaveSteffe

PrinciplesOfSoftwareEngineeringManagement was so far ahead of its time that TomDeMarco wrote recently that Gilb seemed like the Man from Mork to others in the software development field at the time. But times change - last time I met Tom I showed him the Index of CodeComplete - under G, there are 2 references to Bill Gates, 11 (say) to Tom. He took a photocopy ! He deserves the recognition more than most.

Some things don't change so much though. Putting Tom and MichaelJackson in the same room with JenniferStapleton in 1996 to discuss evolutionary methods for Java led to the same non meeting of minds between the two male gurus that mutual friends report from the eighties.

Perhaps Tom's only fault in my mind in the 80s was over-reliance on analogies from engineering, leading to a certain amount of impracticality in his application both of metrics and inspection to software. Still, bringing Deming and Juran to bear was very worth doing, above all to begin to kick in the WaterfallModel. And the metrics is very scalable if not used too rigidly - appropriate to any kind of EvolutionaryDelivery or XP project. -- RichardDrake


Whether PrinciplesOfSoftwareEngineeringManagement is ahead of its time, only time will tell. -- JohnFarrell

An interesting point for me is that people like yourself have read it for the first time in the last year. In the 80s it was way ahead of its time, to my mind. Today there should be no excuse for not including further management, contractual and team programming practices that have since proved important in enabling EvolutionaryDelivery to be successful. Isn't the problem that we don't have enough strong agile/evolutionary case studies such as the Chrysler XP effort to go on? [Said in 1999 by the way, later readers] --RichardDrake

It is not EvolutionaryDelivery that I disagree with, rather the metrics stuff - see GilbMeasurabilityPrinciple

Tom on Wiki

Hey Guys: if you want to really study my Evo ideas in depth, why don't you go to my website and get my book manuscript on EvolutionaryProjectManagement? for free! Best Wishes from London, -- TomGilb

Sadly the book is no longer available online. The good news, though, is that it (CompetitiveEngineering) has now been published by Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann.

I finally introduced Tom to Wiki! There are clearly some interesting new case studies of ED sans XP coming out in his new book and various other ways in which Tom's stuff is developing. I've asked him to take a look at the XP material some time. -- RichardDrake

In fact Tom had a brief email debate with KentBeck, which he was kind enough to copy to me, but basically excused himself from a Wiki confrontation. Maybe this was because Kent understood the medium in which the debate was to take place so much better than he did. Or maybe because Kent was already getting the better of him. I still like to honor Tom for saying such important and necessary things about EvolutionaryDelivery when simply no other RespectedSoftwareExperts were, when it really cost quite a lot to do so. Take care, guy. -- RichardDrake

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