Software institute plan is backed by suppliers

The latest proposal to improve the success rate of IT projects has won the backing of suppliers.

The latest proposal to improve the success rate of IT projects has won the backing of suppliers.

The creation of a Software Engineering Institute was proposed last year in a report by the British Computer Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering. It will share best practice in the development of software within engineering systems.

John McDermid, professor of Software Engineering at the University of York, who came up with the idea, said the job of writing good software was becoming harder due to the increasing size and complexity of the engineering systems it is supporting.

McDermid said the institute would initially target user organisations in the public and private sectors. It would later work with IT suppliers. The proposed institute would be funded by government and industry.

Nick Kalisperas of suppliers' association Intellect backed the proposal. "We feel that progress is being made, and that this initiative, in conjunction with initiatives by Intellect and the Office of Government Commerce, such as the Code of Best Practice and Effective Partnering Guidelines, will start to make an impact," he said.

Peter Amey, technical director at Praxis, a consultancy specialising in secure systems, said the techniques proposed by McDermid could reduce defects in software "by an order of magnitude".

He warned, however, that the creation of a "best practice" code for software development risked being too rigid and not adapting to new techniques.

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