The field of programmers myth

  title={The field of programmers myth},
  author={Peter J. Denning},
  journal={Commun. ACM},
  • P. Denning
  • Published 1 July 2004
  • Computer Science
  • Commun. ACM
The persistent public image of computing as a field of programmers has become a costly myth. Reversing it is possible but not easy. 
The profession of ITVoices of computing
The choir of engineers, mathematicians, and scientists who make up the bulk of our field better represents computing than the solo voice of the programmer.
Is the thrill gone?
Computer science is nothing less than a new way of thinking; explaining it to the wider world is critical to the future of the field.
The Profession of IT, Recentering Computer Science
The article of record as published may be found at
Recentering computer science
The recent decreases of enrollment in computer science programs signal a chasm between our historical emphasis on programming and the contemporary concerns of those choosing careers.
CS 1: Beyond Programming
In this special session, a variety of ways in which CS 1 courses can broaden their focus beyond programming are shared, without sacrificing programming rigor.
The Computing Field: Structure
  • P. Denning
  • Computer Science
    Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering
  • 2008
Since its inception in the 1930s, the computing field has passed through childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and maturity. In its maturity it is a complex of fields gathered under a large
The Many Faces of Complexity in Software Design
The nature of complexity as it arises in software design is discussed, the progress that is achieved in tackling it is assessed, and some of the challenges that still remain are discussed.
The development of computer science: a sociocultural perspective
  • M. Tedre
  • Education, Computer Science
    Baltic Sea '06
  • 2006
It is argued that understanding of how computer science works is an important part of the knowledge of an educated computer scientist.
Using history of computing to address problems and opportunities
It is forty years since the first registered computer run was made in Turku, a city in the South-West corner of Finland, and an automatic computer Wegematic 1000 was donated by Axel Leonard Wenner-Gren.
Process algebras as support for sustainable systems of services
This work proposes a novel use of process algebra as a back-bone in designing and maintaining complex open distributed information systems with π-calculus approach to create and maintain service based mission oriented tasks with intended behaviors and with support for observing and maintaining mission critical systemic criteria.


Great principles of computing
The great principles of computing have been interred beneath layers of technology in our understanding and our teaching. It is time to set them free.
Computing as a discipline
A summary is given of a report that had the following goals: to describe computer science in a way that emphasizes fundamental questions and significant accomplishments; to propose a teaching
The mythical man-month (anniversary ed.)
The added chapters contain a crisp condensation of all the propositions asserted in the original book, including Brooks' central argument in The Mythical Man-Month: that large programming projects suffer management problems different from small ones due to the division of labor.
A debate on teaching computing science
Professor Dijkstra's talk provoked a lot of discussion and brought into the foreground some of the background of controversy that surrounds the issue of what belongs in the core of a computer science curriculum.
Computer science is more important than calculus: the challenge of living up to our potential
In 1961, Alan Perlis made the argument that computer science should be considered part of a liberal education, and that everyone should learn to program, and what would computer science education look like if the authors took Perlis' argument seriously.
The Unfinished Revolution: Making Computers Human-Centric
From the Publisher: Using a computer ought to be as easy and productive as driving your car. But today's systems are oblivious to our needs and demand ever more attention and work from us, as they
he Kyoto Protocol is a symbolically important expression of governments' concern about climate change. But as an instrument for achieving emissions reductions, it has failed 1. It has produced no
Career redux
How can one design a career when career as an institution is dead? Entrepreneurs have an answer.
No silver bullet. In The Mythical Man Month, Chapters 16 and 17, Addison-Wesley (1995 edition)
  • 1995
Denning ( is the director of the Cebrowski Institute for information innovation and superiority at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and is a past president of ACM
  • Denning ( is the director of the Cebrowski Institute for information innovation and superiority at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and is a past president of ACM