Edward Yourdon Past Away

Now some of you young pups might wonder who Ed Yourdon was, and really that is too bad for you as his books and such helped me to be a better programmer, designer and manager, so thank you Ed and my condolences to your family and friends.


Old programmers never die. They just terminate and stay resident.

I feel kinda how about clicking “like” to the OP; so let this response show my appreciation for the information.

I have one of Ed’s books sitting right here. I didn’t know much about him, but I sure did enjoy the book.

I remember him mostly for his (in retrospect) wildly overblown predictions of doom on Y2K.

Thankfully, he turned out to be wrong, since his being right would’ve made for some very bad times. And in fairness, it could be argued that his beating of the drum on Y2K may have contributed to the urgency of fixing the worst problems.

Just goes to show you that it’s possible to be brilliant and knowledgeable, and still come to an incorrect conclusion.

Something for those of us who are less brilliant and knowledgeable to keep in mind when we insist that we’re right about something. :slight_smile:


@ devhammer - Hey, how could you contradict your self in a single post?

So if he didn’t say anything, he’d be correct but because he did, the problems go fixed so he was wrong :naughty:

I haven’t read anything from him, but I will now.

Note the “may” in “may have contributed.”

Impossible to prove a negative, as there is no way to re-run the experiment without the warnings of the doom-sayers. But there were certainly plenty of people who expected the date change to take place without major incidents, and one can acknowledge the possible value of warnings even without believing that the worst predictions would have come to pass without them.

Personally, I think that software in general is sufficiently unreliable that we were already dealing with failures, hiccups, bad data, and other issues, so being able to roll with it when software screws up was an existing skill.

My point isn’t to run down Yourdon. It is simply to note that my memory of him is informed by Y2K, and he was certainly a notable and colorful figure in that arena.

@ devhammer -

Lol; Y2K was just another issue to fix.

Wish I knew about this luminary before he died. Him and George Devol.