Chapter Two - The Yourdon Years

I worked at Yourdon Inc. from 1983 to 1991.

I started out as a seminar instructor and consultant specializing in real-time systems because of my experience at Union Carbide. And eventually I was the Vice President of Product Development. During my watch I was responsible for our next generation methods and the development of our Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tool. The method work that I oversaw included the formalization of the prior structured works into something we called Yourdon Systems Method (YSM). This was definitely a heavier weight method then what I had started out with at Carbide. (See Is the Method too Much?) We also worked on developing an object oriented method that we hoped would ultimately replace YSM. 

Over these years, I met with hundreds of different companies and watched their development teams struggle with the adoption of a new and improved way of developing applications. A pattern for success emerged from all these samples. Companies that made the transition successfully did so at the departmental level. These teams not only started out with a smaller population of developers/projects/customers/etc. but they also  started as simply as possible and added method embellishments as they gained experience.

The CASE tool was called the Analyst/Designer Toolkit. It was a graphics modeling tool running on DOS with a database driven data dictionary. It could analyze the consistency of decomposed data flows over various levels of diagrams. This was called "balancing" the model and was one of the more tedious steps to perform manually. Compared to modern tools the ADTK was very crude. However, that experience convinced me to look for computer assistance in any method deployments. Fitting the right tools to the method and organization is crucial.