I was born in Glasgow, Scotland and educated at Strathclyde University (Physics) and St Andrews University (Computer Science).
I joined the School of Computer Science at St Andrews University, Scotland in April 2006 after almost 20 years (1986-2006) as a professor of software engineering in the Computing Department at Lancaster University in northern England. Previously, I was a lecturer in Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh (1975-78) and at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1978-86).
I'm best known professionally for my book on software engineering which has been in print since 1982 and which has sold over 750, 000 copies worldwide. But I've also been a software and systems engineering researcher since the 1980s and, more recently, have been working in the area of cloud computing.
On my personal web site and blog, I maintain information about my interests outside of work - hill walking and backpacking, photography, food and reading. I also maintain a blog of restaurant reviews, mostly but not exclusively in Scotland.