program registration submissions committee lodging portland

Linda Northrop

Invited Speaker: Linda Northrop

Tuesday, Oct 24, from 13:30 to 15:00, Portland Ballroom 252 to 254  

Linda NorthropScale Changes Everything

Many systems of the future will be of ultra-large size on one or many dimensions – number of lines of code; number of people employing the system for different purposes; amount of data stored, accessed, manipulated, and refined; number of connections and interdependencies among software components; number of hardware elements to which they interface.  They will be ultra-large-scale (ULS) systems.   Is the software community ready to tackle ULS systems?  Will incremental changes in our current software development and management practices be sufficient?


In fact, the characteristics of ULS systems, already evident in some of today’s largest systems, imply changes in the fundamental assumptions that underlie today’s software engineering approaches.  The gaps are strategic, not tactical.  Issues that are not significant at smaller scales become significant at ultra-large scales.  Our current practices and more fundamentally the way we define our discipline are unlikely to scale to the size and levels of complexity of ULS systems.  A new multi-disciplinary perspective and breakthrough research are needed.  We must begin to take a more expansive view of software research and include its interactions with associated research in the physical and social sciences.


This talk is based on the results of a year-long study on ULS systems, documented in Ultra-Large-Scale Systems: The Software Challenge of the Future (ISBN 0-9786956-0-7).


Biography: Linda Northrop has more than 35 years of experience in software development as a practitioner, researcher, manager, consultant, and educator. She currently is director of the Product Line Systems Program at the SEI where she leads the work in software architecture, software product lines, and predictable component engineering. Under her leadership, the SEI has developed software architecture and product line methods that are used worldwide, a series of five highly acclaimed books, and software architecture and software product line curricula.  She recently led a year long study including leaders in the software community to define technical and social challenges to the creation of ultra-large-scale systems that will evolve in the next generation.  The report, Ultra-Large-Scale Systems: The Software Challenge of the Future (ISBN 0-9786956-0-7), has just been published. 
She is a frequently invited speaker and has given keynotes at among others the European Software Engineering Process Group (ESEPG) Conference, the Aspect-Oriented System Development (AOSD) Conference, and the International Conference on Software Engineering (ISCE).   She is coauthor of Software Product Lines: Practices and Patterns and chaired both the first and second international Software Product Line Conferences (SPLC1 and SPLC2). She is a past chair of the OOPSLA Steering Committee and was OOPSLA 2001 conference Chair.
Before joining the SEI, she was associated with both the United States Air Force Academy and the State University of New York as professor of computer science, and with both Eastman Kodak and IBM as a software engineer.  As a private consultant, Linda also worked for an assortment of companies covering a wide range of software systems


While Space Available
program registration submissions committee lodging portland
For comments and questions about the web site
please contact us at
© 2005 OOPSLA