The paper gives the background and history of the foundation, in 1990, of the Institute of Informatics Systems, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (IIS SB RAS). The institute is rightfully considered the successor to the academic tradition of the Novosibirsk programming school created by Academician A.P. Ershov, head of the Programming Department with the Computing Center, Siberian Branch, USSR Academy of Sciences (1957–1988). Today, Ershov’s programming school, whose establishment dates back to the 1960s, continues to develop. In the 1990s, it was transformed into a separate entity, the Institute of Informatics Systems SB RAS. Here, theoretical studies into the topics outlined by A.P. Ershov, his colleagues and disciples are developed and put into practice. The IIS SB RAS is the only research institution in Siberia that focuses on computer science. The genesis of the programming theory and its current development by A.P. Ershov’s colleagues and successors have been traced. The IIS SB RAS and Novosibirsk school of programming base their activities on the technological and methodological culture of system engineering, program design and development, which also applies to software engineering. The Novosibirsk programming school as a research and educational phenomenon does not concentrate solely on the good results in theoretical and practical programming. The researchers of the IIS SB RAS actively support social projects on education and informatisation of humanities.