Towards a Profession of Software Design

Andrew Singer, Interval Research and the Association for Software Design

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University March 10, 1993


Several years ago Mitch Kapor (designer of Lotus's 1-2-3 spreadsheet) spoke and wrote eloquently about the importance of good software design. That led the creation of the Association for Software Design, by Kapor (who now chairs the Association's Advisory Board), Andrew Singer (co-designer of MacPascal and THINK C), and a small but dedicated group of volunteers (who now make up the Operating Board chaired by Singer). The Association's goals include "recognizing and encouraging excellence in design and spreading the knowledge and methods that lead to it," with meetings, workshops, and publications. One of the Association's recent activities was to co-sponsor, with Terry Winograd's PCD project, the first Invitational Workshop on Software Design. Andrew Singer will discuss the work of the Association and invite like-minded individuals to join.


Andrew Singer is best known for his work on programming and workgroup tools at Think Technologies which he co-founded in 1982 and whose product development efforts he led until its acquisition by Symantec in 1987 and at Radius where he was vice president of engineering from 1988 to 1991. He was co-designer of the Think programming environments MacPascal and LightspeedC and of InBox, Think's LAN-based electronic mail system for personal computers. At Radius, he oversaw development of such products as the Pivot, the first successful dual-orientation display for personal computers and the PrecisionColor Calibrator, the first widely-used system for maintaining color consistency on a CRT. With Henry Ledgard he was co-author of a best-selling series of introductory programming texts based on the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and published by Random House, Addison-Wesley and SRA. He has been a frequent speaker and the author of numerous publications. Singer holds an MS and a PhD in Computer and Information Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He currently heads up a project at Interval Research that is looking into the future of computing and communications.


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