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Tom DeMarco

Tom DeMarco is a Principal of the Atlantic Systems Guild, and a Fellow of the Cutter Consortium. He was the winner of the 1986 Warnier Prize for "lifetime contribution to the field of computing," and the 1999 Stevens Award for "contribution to the methods of software development." He was recently honored with a Doctorate of Science from City University, London for major and evolving contributions to the discipline of software engineering. His invaluable experience and knowledge of how software and people work, combined with his intellectual curiosity, characterizes and distinguishes Tom's contributions to software engineering.

Beginning his career at Bell Telephone Laboratories, he was part of the cutover team of the now-legendary ESS-1 project. In later years, he managed real-time projects for La CEGOS Informatique in France, and was responsible for distributed on-line banking systems installed in Sweden, Holland, France and Finland. He has lectured and consulted throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Australia and the Far East. His particular areas of interest these days are project management, change facilitation, and litigation of software-intensive contracts. In the 1970s Tom worked increasingly with some of the key systems thinkers who were around at that time. In 1979 he wrote a book entitled Structured Analysis and System Specification. The term "ground-breaking" is often over-used in the software industry; but not in this case. The result of Tom's book was nothing less than the definition of a new discipline - structured analysis - a discipline that for over 20 years now has underpinned research into how we engineer complex computerized systems. Tom's book also gave us one of the most useful tools that a systems analyst can have - the data flow diagram.

Tom DeMarco has a BSEE degree from Cornell University, an M.S. from Columbia University and a diplome from the University of Paris at the Sorbonne. He is a member of the ACM and a Fellow of the IEEE. He makes his home in Camden, Maine.

His new book (with co-author Tim Lister), Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects, was published by Dorset House in March, 2003. This is a definitive how-to book about risk management. In its five parts Tom and Tim guide you in building a case for risk management, protecting yourself against its possibly dangerous impacts in a politically unready environment, making the mechanics work, making sure you derive all the benefits, and testing your organization for risk readiness. His most recent business book is called Slack, Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency. It was published by Random House in 2001 and as a paperback edition in 2002. Slack answers the key questions: Why are all so damn busy? And is it good for us and for the companies we work for?

Prior works include The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management, published in the summer of 1997 by Dorset House. It is the story of a veteran software manager who bets his life on a delivery date. How does he manage the project with the stakes so high?

The classic, PEOPLEWARE: Productive Projects and Teams (also with co-author Tim Lister) is now out it its second edition from Dorset House. Tom's 1995 book of essays was entitled WHY DOES SOFTWARE COST SO MUCH? And Other Puzzles of the Information Age, also from Dorset. Other early works include, Structured Analysis and System Specification [Prentice-Hall, 1979], Controlling Software Projects: Management, Measurement and Estimation, [Prentice Hall, 1982], and more than one hundred articles and papers about management and the system development process. In 1990, he served with Tim Lister as editor of Software: State of the Art [Dorset House, 1990]

DeMarco's Other Side
Tom DeMarco's first work of mainstream fiction, entitled Dark Harbor House, was published by Down East Books in 2001. It is a gentle coming of age story that takes place in the late 1940s on an island off the coast of Maine. More recently, his collection of short stories, Lieutenant America and Miss Apple Pie, was published in October 2002, also by Down East. This is the book that Kirkus Reviews described as "Beautifully detailed stories, bathed in warmth.
Some of Tom DeMarco’s Other Publications
  • Tom DeMarco: The McCarthy Protocols. Communications of the ACM 46(6): 24-25 (2003)
  • Tom DeMarco, Barry W. Boehm: The Agile Methods Fray. IEEE Computer 35(6): 90-92 (2002)
  • Victor R. Basili, Tom DeMarco, Ali Mili: Science and Engineering for Software Development: A Recognition of Harlan D. Mills' Legacy. ICSE 1999: 710-711
  • Dennis J. Frailey, Tom DeMarco: Software Engineering Grows Up / It Ain't Broke, so Don't Fix It (Point/Counterpoint). IEEE Software 16(6): 66-69 (1999)
  • Roger S. Pressman, Ted G. Lewis, Ben Adida, Ellen Ullman, Tom DeMarco, Thomas Gilb, Brent C. Gorda, Watts S. Humphrey, Ray Johnson: Can Internet-Based Applications Be Engineered? IEEE Software 15(5): 104-110 (1998)
  • Tom DeMarco, Tim Lister: Human Capital. IEEE Software 15(6): 103-105 (1998)
  • Barry W. Boehm, Tom DeMarco: Guest Editors' Introduction: Software Risk Management. IEEE Software 14(3): 17-19 (1997)
  • Tom DeMarco: Requirements Engineering: Why Aren't We Better at It? ICRE 1996: 2-3
  • Tom DeMarco: The Role of Software Development Methodologies: Past, Present, and Future. ICSE 1996: 2-4
  • Tom DeMarco, Ann Miller: Managing Large Software Projects. IEEE Software 13(4): 24-27 (1996)
    Bonnie Collier, Tom DeMarco, Peter Fearey: A Defined Process for Project Postmortem Review. IEEE Software 13(4): 65-72 (1996)
  • Tom DeMarco: What 'Lean and Mean' Really Means. IEEE Software 12(6): 101-102 (1995)
  • Sheila Brady, Tom DeMarco: Management-Aided Software Engineering. IEEE Software 11(6): 25-32 (1994)
  • Marc I. Kellner, Bill Curtis, Tom DeMarco, Kouichi Kishida, Maurice Schlumberger, Colin Tully: Non-Technological Issues in Software Engineering. ICSE 1991: 144-146
  • Tom DeMarco: Non-Technological Issues in Software Engineering. ICSE 1991: 149-150
  • Tom DeMarco, Curt Geertgens: Use of Video for Program Documentation (Experience Report). ICSE 1990: 126-128
  • Tom DeMarco: Making a Difference in the Schools. IEEE Software 7(6): 78-82 (1990)
  • Tom DeMarco: Twenty Years of Software Engineering: Looking Forward, Looking Back. ICSE 1989: 134
  • Tom DeMarco, Tim Lister: Software Development: State of the Art vs. State of the Practice. ICSE 1989: 271-275
  • Tom DeMarco, Tim Lister: Programmer Performance and the Effects of the Workplace. ICSE 1985: 268-272
  • Tom DeMarco, Aurel Soceneantu: Data Flow Structures for System Specification and Implementation. ICDE 1984: 356-361
  • Tom DeMarco, Aurel Soceneantu: SYNCRO: A Dataflow Command Shell for the Lilith/Modula Computer. ICSE 1984: 207-213
  • Tom DeMarco: An Algorithm for Sizing Software Products. SIGMETRICS Performance Evaluation Review 12(2): 13-22 (1984)


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