Allen I. Holub

Updated at: May 21, 2007, 2:20 a.m.

Allen's primary focus in the last few years has been on helping companies be successful in their software-development efforts. His motivation is frustration; having seen too many companies either fail outright or loose literally millions of dollars simply because none of the executive-level management understood how software both is and should be produced. The frustration comes from knowing that these failures are easily avoidable when the executives have even a little help.

Having worked as a CTO, software architect (in the sense of a designer of software), programmer, educator, and author specializing in object-oriented design and languages (including Java and C++), Allen is in a unique position to help executives get and stay on track.

Allen has worked in the computer field since 1979 —as an independent consultant since 1983. He started out as a hardware engineer, developing robotics control systems — his first software projects were device drivers for his own boards — but the software eventually preempted the hardware. His hardware roots very much inform the way that he produces software: He is a firm believer in solid design work and follows a best practices" approach to programming. His software projects have included:

  • Various custom device drivers.
  • A real-time operating-system kernel.
  • A full-fledged, but simple, disk operating system.
  • Various compilers for proprietary languages.
  • An open-source troff implementation.
  • An UNIX-style C shell for Microsoft operating systems.
  • A C compiler, documented in his book Compiler Design in C.
  • Implementations of the UNIX lex and yacc compiler-compiler utilities.
  • A Java Threading package to augment the language-level threading support.
  • Various application programs.
Allen has been an active participant in the open-source community, publishing large amounts of useful source code in books and in the various magazines to which he's contributed over the years. Much of his published code has found its way into commercial products such as the Rogue Wave C++ tool kit and the libraries accompanying the Borland C and C++ compilers.

Allen was an early adopter of Java.

Related Books

The C Companion