Today I wanted to know which people are the most popular thinkers and writers in the field of software engineering. So I devised a hopelessly skewed and utterly unprofessional way to measure the popularity of the most famous software engineers, consultants and managers. This is what I did.
On Amazon.com I traced the best-selling books on software engineering, dealing with methodologies, project/people management, patterns, best practices, etc. (I skipped all books about Java, .NET, Ruby, OopsyDaisy# and other specific technologies.) I then awarded points to authors for the number of reviews on their books, multiplied with their average review scores. I also awarded points for the number of Google hits on these authors' names, in combination with the "software development" keyword. (I multiplied the hit count with my computer's free memory size, to make them fit my tiny Excel spreadsheet columns.)
I admit that my method is totally unresponsible, and I should be shot or sued by someone from Gallup or Nielsen for pretending that my research has any significant value. But before they do, here are my results…
Scott W. Ambler
Robert L. Glass
Frederick P. Brooks
Karl E. Wiegers
And it appears that Steve McConnell is the winner! Hurray! (Please send your congratulations and flowers to Steve McConnell at Construx.com, with a reference to this blog.)
If you think someone important is missing from my list, please let me know! I am considering to turn this list into a big awards ceremony next year. With tiny golden keyboards or something.