The evolution of computer science and computing technologies is historically measured as progress in hardware developments. The growth in size of memory capacities and the increase of speed in our computers mirror the technological development in information sciences. However, it is factual since more than forty years that the main driving force of our industries is software and the technology how to develop it – fast, reliable and cost-effective. Major emphasis has been put in the engineering of software as a product, not only in its development but also in its adaptation to changing requirements and in its deployment and further maintenance.

The talk describes the path from the invention of efficient algorithms, the efforts toward the structuring and abstraction of development processes to the vision of software being the clay to develop highly distributed and decentralized systems which realize emergent and even autonomous behavior. Future challenges are seen in the engineering of such ensembles, which consist of a massive number of nodes with complex interactions and with a variable network topology. They operate in open and often non-deterministic environments.



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