The First 50 Years of Software Reliability Engineering: A History of SRE with First Person Accounts

by   James J. Cusick, et al.

Software Reliability has just passed the 50-year milestone as a technical discipline along with Software Engineering. This paper traces the roots of Software Reliability Engineering (SRE) from its pre-software history to the beginnings of the field with the first software reliability model in 1967 through its maturation in the 1980s to the current challenges in proving application reliability on smartphones and in other areas. This history began as a thesis proposal for a History of Science research program and includes multiple previously unpublished interviews with founders of the field. The project evolved to also provide a survey of the development of SRE from notable prior histories and from citations of new work in the field including reliability applications to Agile Methods. This history concludes at the modern-day providing bookends in the theory, models, literature, and practice of Software Reliability Engineering from 1968 to 2018 and pointing towards new opportunities to deepen and broaden the field.



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