Software Pioneer Edward Yourdon Dies
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 25 January 2016

Ed Yourdon, a pioneer of Structured Programming methodology who was among the first inductees into the Computer Hall of Fame, has died from post-operative complications, aged 71.


Edward Nash Yourdon

April 30, 1944 - January 20, 2106


Ed Yourdon is best known for his contributions to structured analysis and design methods and to object-oriented methodology.

During the 1980's he developed the Yourdon Structured Method (YSM) based on functional structuring. The method supports two distinct design phases: analysis and design with three discrete steps: the feasibility study; essential modeling; and implementation modeling.

With regard to object-oriented analysis/design he was a co-developer of the Yourdon/Whitehead method in the late 1980s and the Coad/Yourdon method in the 1990s.

The Computer Hall of Fame was inaugurated in the mid-1980's as part of the Computer Museum of America with the intention of  honoring individuals who had made the ongoing Computer Revolution possible and Ed Yourdon was one of the five initial inductees alongside Charles Babbage, Grace Hopper, James Martin creator of CASE (Computer Aided Systems Engineering) and Gerald M. Weinberg, author of The Psychology of Computer Programming.

Yourdon was also a prolific author.  His seminal work Modern Structured Analysis was published in Prentice Hall's Yourdon Press Computing Series in 1988, a series that also has three titles on Object-Oriented Programming co-authored by Peter Coad.  

In 1992 he wrote Decline and Fall of the American Programmer in which he warned that the US software industry was about to be driven out of business by programmers in other countries who could produce software more cheaply and with higher quality. In a follow up book is 1996  Rise and Resurrection of the American Programmer  he reversed some of his original predictions based upon changes in the state of the software industry.

The original version of what is perhaps his best known book Death March, subtitled "The complete software developer's guide to surviving "Mission Impossible" projects was in 1997. The second edition appeared in 2003 and a completely revised third edition was due to be published by Prentice Hall at a future date.

During the late 1990s, Yourdon was one of the leading proponents of the theory that the 'Y2K Bug' could lead to a collapse of civilization, or at least protracted economic depression and technological breakdown on a wide scale. He wrote several books on the subject, including Time Bomb 2000 and The Y2K Financial Survival Guide, co-authored with his daughter Jennifer Yourdon. 

His most recent book, CEOs At Work, was published by Apress earlier this month.

More Information 

Edward Yourdon - Wikipedia

Computer Hall of Fame Inaugural Class


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