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Q: General reference book or other source ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: General reference book or other source
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: hollywoodjake-ga
List Price: $40.00
Posted: 24 Aug 2006 17:51 PDT
Expires: 23 Sep 2006 17:51 PDT
Question ID: 759294
Do you know of a general reference source (most likely a book, I
suppose) that presents a concise overview/summary/history of the
evolution of the Software industry (preferably in a fairly
easy-to-read and interesting format)?  I'm not looking for a college
textbook in all likelihood, but a volume that might discuss topics
such as:
* evolution of software languages (from BASIC to modern day languages like java)
* how software code is written today
* who some of the industry pioneers were (ok, bill gates is obvious)
* new developments such as Open Source software, Software as a Service, etc
* information on types of applications, such as "Business Intelligence
Software," "Database Software," "Storage Software," etc and what they
are and what they do
* a thorough glossary for complex terms such as "object-oriented,"
"relational databases,"SQL-structured query language,"
"service-oriented architecture," "XML," etc.

I hope this is enough for you to go on!

Request for Question Clarification by keystroke-ga on 25 Aug 2006 03:08 PDT
I am not sure if you will find a book that consists of EVERYTHING that
you require in a single text, however I can tell you that the book

"Hackers" Written by Steven Levy 

is an excellent book that takes you back into the start of the MIT
world and the PDP hackers. How they obtained access to the machines,
how they sorted bugs within the software without the owners knowledge.
How they created the first games and stored their software on
punchcard and had to book time on their systems just to play with

It is certainly a great book that covers a lot of the industry
pioneers, especially those of the HomeBrew Computer Club.

Subject: Re: General reference book or other source
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 27 Aug 2006 20:18 PDT

Thanks for an interesting question.  

There are certainly books that cover the history of the software
industry in a pretty comprehensive fashion...I'll get to those in a

But you would do well to start your explorations with a website
devoted to the very same topic.  What better resource than:
The Software History Center

Given your interest in the topic, I'm sure you'll find it worth your
while to spend time exploring this site...there's a lot there.  A good
quick overview can be had by checking out their history section:
An Overview of the History of the Software Industry

which starts with the large-scale adoption of computers for business
and government in the 1950's.  Make sure to take note of the links in
each 'ear' that lead you to even more detailed descriptions.

As for books on the topic, the site offers a fairly comprehensive
bibliography, here:
Software History Bibliography

A few that caught my eye that should be of particular interest to you are these:

Campbell-Kelly, Martin.  "The Development and Structure of the
International Software Industry, 1950-1990." Business and Economic
History, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Winter 1995): 73-110

Campbell-Kelly, Martin.  From Airline Reservations to Sonic the
Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT
Press, 2003.

Cortada, James W. "Researching the History of Software from the
1960s." IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 24, No. 1
(Jan-Mar 2002): 72-79

Hoch, Detlev J., Cyriac R. Roeding, Gert Purkert, and Sandro K.
Lindner.  Secrets of Software Success: Management Insights from 100
Software Firms around the World. Boston, Massachusetts:  Harvard
Business School Press.  (See especially Appendix II, Software History:
An Overview.), 1999

Mowery, David C., ed. The International Computer Software Industry: A
Comparative Study of Industry Evolution and Structure. New York,
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Take a look at the page for Campbell-Kelly's book on the topic:

as there is some good additional information here, such as the full
Table of Contents for the book, as well as suggestions of other books
that cover the history of software and computing more generally.

I believe these resources will provide you the overview and
information you are seeking.  However, if there's anything more I can
do for you on this, please don't hesitate to let me know.  Just post a
Request for Clarification, and I'm at your service.



search strategy -- Google search on [ history of the software industry ]
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