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Faculty Image Joel Henry
Office: SS 408
Phone: 406-243-2218
Website: Click Here
Curriculum Vita: View/Download CV



Joel Henry has worked in the field of software engineering for more than twenty years, mostly as a software project manager, technical lead, or software engineer. Throughout, he has concentrated on real-world issues involved in building software products for people who need them.

After receiving a PhD in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, where he focused on quantitative software process improvement, Joel moved to academia.

Always drawn to commercial software development, Joel worked before, during, and since his graduate studies on commercial software projects. These projects involved EPA air quality (stored on tape!), expert systems, Naval weapons systems, Air Force aircraft, wind tunnels, software engineering tools, aerospace vehicles, and factory control systems.

Joel has not driven a dotcom company to huge initial stock offerings but has rowed an aluminum boat 61 miles around Yellowstone Lake. Putting this same work ethic into his software engineering projects, he has put valuable software products in the hands of those who needed them on time and within budget even though they didn’t bring him fame or fortune.

Joel has worked in both the academic and commercial software worlds, observing, recording, and evaluating tools, techniques, and culture in each. He prides himself on leveraging information and experience from academic and commercial environments, mixed with the wisdom of his father and grandfather, to improve both worlds.

Office Hours:

Monday and Wednesday: 9-12

Tuesday and Thursday: 9:30-11

Field Of Study:

Software engineering - all phases and processes from XP to CMMI.  My strengths are in project management, real-time systems, model-driven development, disaster recovery, contract negotiation, testing, and development of system critical systems.


I usually teach CS 441 and 442, our senior capstone courses in CS.  I also teach Advanced Software Engineering, CS 541 and 542. My other course is usually CS 346, Software Engineering.


Outdoors - hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, and floating.  If I am not in the office you will likely find me outdoors someplace.  I also read alot of non-fiction - Civil War, Geography, Biographies (of historical figures - I could care less about celebrities and entertainers except for JIMMY BUFFETT), and Natural History.


I am a GrizCat - BS and MS from MSU in 85 and 86 respectively.

I am also a HOKIE!  PhD from Virginia Tech in 93; "We will prevail!" 


ACM, IEEE, but I am most proud of the fact that I am an IEEE Certified Software Development Professional (one of only a few hundred world-wide!).

Professional Experience:

My career wouldn't be complete without research projects and consulting.  I love problem solving and troubleshooting in both the research and commercial worlds.  As such my research and consulting funding has come largely from NASA, NSF, private companies (SIEMENS, DPRA, Lockheed Martin, SAIC, MRI, among others), and government (DLA, DOD, State of Montana, etc.).  I have been an expert witness, advisor, arbitrator, and provided input to lawyers, government officials, and CEOs.

Selected Publications:

Get my book!  Software Project Management: A real-world guide to success from Amazon or Addison Wesley.

Countries Visited:

  • United Kingdom
  • Canada