The Berry Family of Central Texas

Then and Now

Richard's Career
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Here's a photo of my office at IBM in Austin where I retired in May 2006 after 38 years.  Not much to see - a few computers, some awards and patent plaques, and two credenzas full of mementos.  I traded my desk for an oval table many years ago.  The table was much more useful for impromptu meetings and working sessions.  The computer on the right had a fireplace screensaver to provide a warm ambience, and the one in the corner had a TV tuner.  I and several colleagues watched 9/11 unfold on that screen. 

Here is the announcement of my retirement from an IBM newsletter.  It says a bit about how I spent almost 38 years.  It was written by a colleague who is one of IBM's design leaders. 

Dick Berry to retire

Effective 30 April, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Director of Outside-In Design Methods Dick Berry will retire from IBM.  Over his nearly 38 years with IBM, Dick has been a technical leader, manager, and innovator and holds more than 65 U.S. patents. 
Dick began his career in the Albuquerque branch office, serving banking, government, and mid-market customers.  In 1971, he moved to Raleigh where he was architect, chief programmer, and later manager of a development team for the IBM 3650 Retail Store System, the first IBM retail system.  In 1978, he moved to Austin where he was lead architect for the convergence of word-processing and file-processing on the IBM 5520 Administrative System.  He assumed the role of Externals Architecture Manager for several follow-on releases.  
Dick helped establish the User Interface Architecture team in 1982 and led the Screen and Windowing design through the early work with Microsoft (Windows 2.0) and initial development of OS/2.  Some elements of this design -- including the way windows are moved, sized, minimized, maximized, and restored -- are still used in Windows and other operating systems.      
In 1990, Dick and Tony Temple designed the object-oriented desktop that was eventually adopted as OS/2 Warp and Windows 95.  This desktop paradigm with ubiquitous drag-drop and pop-up context menus remains a standard desktop today. 
Since that time Dick has advanced user experience research and design, out-of-box experience, additional personal computer desktop features, and three-dimensional interfaces.  He was a founding member of the PC Quality/Ease of Use Roundtable, a cross-industry group seeking to improve ease of use throughout the PC industry. 
For the past several years he has focused on "outside-in" design approaches, methods, and tools.  He pioneered the adoption of Unified Modeling Language (UML) for user research and user conceptual models and developed User Experience extensions to UML.  
His long-time passion has been for software developers to adopt a rigorous, automated, tool-based system design approach that produces a clear and coherent user conceptual model as a "blueprint-like" specification for implementation.  Dick has been a significant driver in moving IBM design teams in this direction. 
I've worked closely with Dick for many years.  He is one of the most meticulous thinkers I've ever met, the most organized and thorough in addressing any issue or problem, and the most comprehensive in proposing solutions.  His productivity in generating patents is a testament to his creativity. Certain elements of the Windows operating system that we take for granted were designed by Dick and have become industry standards. His entire career illustrates his commitment to innovation that matters.  
I will certainly miss working closely with Dick, and I will miss the energy and brainpower he brings to discussions. I know how much he looks forward to  spending more time with his wife, children, and grandchildren, and I wish him all the best in his retirement.  

  On the lighter side ...

Remember Y2K?  Did you get bit?  I did.  On only one program though - but it was the one that I set up to control the house lighting!  Nothing worked on Jan 1st!  I immediately suspected Y2K and sure enough ...


This is one of the books I co-authored with some IBM colleagues.  We pioneered a design method for  creating easier to use computer programs. 

Sounds like a life-time task doesn’t it?