I was born in the same year SIMULA was standardised, bought my first computer with the proceeds from a paper round, and my second computer after I was fired from a summer programming camp. Beginning with several varieties of BASIC, and going on to Informix, Pascal, C, Perl, Tcl, Smalltalk, Self, C++, Java, programming languages and objects have taken up an inordinate amount of my time and interest. In this talk I’ll meander through some of this history, explain how many of the concerns from the past have — often unwittingly — influenced my current research, and speculate on what I might do with the other half of my life.
James Noble is Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. James has B.Sc(Hons) and Ph.D. degrees, both from VUW, completed in 1997. After leaving VUW, James worked in Sydney, first at the University of Technology, Sydney, and then at the Microsoft Research Institute, Macquarie University. James returned to VUW as a lecturer in late 1999, just in time to avoid the predicted end of the world.
James’s research centres around software design. This includes the design of the users’ interface, the parts of software that users have to deal with every day, and the programmers’ interface, the internal structures and organisations of software that programmers see only when they are designing, building, or modifying software. His research in both of these areas is coloured by my longstanding interest in object oriented approaches to design, and topics he has studies range from aliasing and object ownership, design patterns, agile methodology, via usability, visualisation and computer music, to postmodernism and the semiotics of programming.