CFP: Infrastructure for Research in Collaborative Software Engineering 

Integrated Support or Integrated Overhead?

First International Workshop on
Infrastructure for Research in Collaborative Software Engineering (IRCoSE) at FSE 2008

Atlanta, Georgia, USA
November 9, 2008

Second Paper Submission is Open!!

Theme and Goals of the workshop

Development teams today can choose from a growing number of options for assembling an end-to-end solution for collaborative software engineering. Examples range from tying together IDEs with various services (e.g. the Eclipse IDE + Subversion + Bugzilla + CruiseControl) to integrated end-to-end solutions like Jazz. These options are freely available for academia, provide extensibility, ready access to repositories of data, and community mechanisms to contribute back new improvements. This suggests an exciting opportunity for the software engineering researcher and educator to focus on experimentation and exploration instead of struggling with technology. But, often these infrastructure choices were designed for developers, not researchers and educators can there be a balance without creating overhead for all parties?

The theme of this workshop is on strategies and technologies for minimizing infrastructure overhead to enable a focus on software engineering research and teaching in the domain of collaborative software engineering. The central activity of the workshop will be sharing experiences in evaluating and using open-source, academic, and commercial choices to conduct research, showcase how choices helped accelerate their work, and identify areas for improvement. This one-day workshop seeks to build up a community interested in ways to reduce infrastructure overhead and help bring focus to software engineering research and teaching. We will feature presentations and group discussions to increase interaction among participants. We also encourage an open ongoing discussion that includes sharing of best practices and recommendations to improve the usability of core technologies.

We invite position papers that summarize current or past collaborative software engineering projects and discuss issues around infrastructure choices, such as:

    * What features and requirements drove the infrastructure choices?
    * What worked well, and what didn’t with the infrastructure during the project?
    * How can the infrastructure be improved?
    * What requirements, standards, capabilities, etc. should be broadly available for future projects?
    * Should other researchers and educators be using the same infrastructure? Why, or why not?

Projects described can include topic areas such as (but are not limited to):

    * Collaboration and awareness
    * Configuration Management
    * Planning and Work Item Management
    * Process Guidance
    * Build
    * Project Health
    * Reporting and Visualization
    * Repository Mining (of code, work items, builds, and other artifacts)
    * Tailoring of environments for education/classroom use

Important Dates

Second paper submission: September 30, 2008, 23:59 GMT -12:00.
Second author notification: October 13, 2008.

Camera-ready copy: November 3, 2008, 23:59 GMT -12:00.
Workshop: November 9, 2008

Submission Information

Participants will be asked to submit position papers (4 pages maximum) on a topic relevant to the workshop as PDF files using the ACM Digital library guidelines. Papers must be uploaded via the workshop website (link to the Submission Site) by September 19, 2008. Authors of selected submissions will be asked to participate at the workshop. Their position papers will be posted on the workshop website. While the papers should be treated as non-archival, they may be included on USB sticks provided to all attendees of the FSE conference.


Workshop Organizers

Li-Te Cheng, IBM Research
Daniela Damian, University of Victoria
Gail Murphy, University of British Columbia
Adrian Schröter, University of Victoria

Program Committee

Li-Te Cheng, IBM Research
Daniela Damian, University of Victoria
Frank Maurer, University of Calgary
Gail Murphy, University of British Columbia
Nachiappan Nagappan, Microsoft
Anita Sarma, Carnegie Mellon University
Adrian Schröter, University of Victoria 


Does modeling matter?

So, in the last little while, I’ve been involved in a few projects regarding MDA, modeling, or automatic code generation as some of you would know it.  My personal belief is that modeling will become a prominent part of software engineering – as it already is in some areas, such as automotive SE.  And in fact, I think that a lot of modeling occurs, but we just don’t call it modeling.  For instance, when you put together a mash-up using a visual editor, it is a form of modeling, in the sense that you are abstracting from the particular details of the implementation, and instead focusing on the function.  But really, is that what modeling is.  So, I guess, what I’m worrying about now is how to define modeling in a software engineering context.  Is what end-users, in the sense of end-user software engineering do, modeling.  Do scientists model when they are using software to analyse and understand their results?  This seems like too broad a definition.  So define modeling – I need to know what it is, and what good is a blog if you can’t have other people do your work for you?

And my other question, why don’t software engineers like to model?  Will future SEs model more.  Is the difference between coding in Java and Modeling the same as the difference between coding in Pascal and Assembly, or between Assembly and Machine Language.  So, why don’t we code in Machine Language any more.  I guess what I’m saying is, is it just an evolution, or is there something fundamentally different about the modeling abstraction than the previous ones?  Food for thought, as I try to understand why SEs don’t trust models.

Recommendation Systems for Software Engineering

Recommendation Systems for Software Engineering
Workshop at ACM SIGSOFT 2008 / FSE-16, November 10, Atlanta, GA, USA


Friday, July 25: position papers due
Friday, August 29: author notification
Friday, September 19: camera-ready copy due for accepted papers


Recommendation systems for software engineering are tools that help
developers and managers to better cope with the huge amount of
information faced in today’s software projects. They provide
developers with information to guide them in a number of activities
(e.g., software navigation, debugging, refactoring), or to alert them
of potential issues (e.g., conflicting changes, failure-inducing
changes, duplicated functionality). Similarly, managers get only to
see the information that is relevant to make a certain decision (e.g.,
bug distribution when allocating resources). Recommendation systems
can draw from a wide variety of input data, and benefit from different
types of analyses.

Although many recommendation systems have demonstrable usefulness and
usability in software engineering, a number of questions remain to be
discussed and investigated: What recommendations do developers and
managers actually need? How can we evaluate recommendations? Are there
fundamentally different kinds of recommenders? How can we integrate
recommendations from different sources? How can we protect the privacy
of developers? In this workshop, we will study advances in
recommendation systems, with a special focus on evaluation,
integration, and usability.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers and
practitioners with interest and experience in the elaboration and
evaluation of concepts, techniques, and tools for providing
recommendations to developers involved in software engineering tasks.

Specific areas of interests include, but are not limited to:
– Infrastructure of recommendation systems
– Application of techniques from artificial intelligence and
information retrieval
– Mining software artifacts for recommendations
– Recommendation systems for code reuse
– Recommendation systems for teams and managers
– Software navigation, debugging, refactoring, collaboration
– Evaluation of recommendation systems
– Benchmarks for recommendation systems
– Usability of recommendation systems
– Ethical issues such as privacy and behavioral shaping


Three kinds of submission are solicited: long position papers
(5-pages) presenting promising preliminary results and/or describing
tools; short position papers (2-pages) presenting novel ideas in the
formative stages; and position statements (1-page) where a stance or
idea of interest can be expressed. Some position papers will be
selected for regular presentations, others for a poster session.

All long and short position papers accepted to the workshop will be
published in the ACM Digital Library, unless the authors prefer not to
do so. All accepted position papers and position statements will be
made available to the attendees, regardless.

Submissions must be uploaded via the submission website at by July 25, 2008.

CFP: Intersections of Software Componentization and Global Software Development

Papers due: July 15
Date:     November 14
Atlanta, GA (associated with FSE 2008 conference)

Description:     Implicit in adoption of SOA and other frameworks is the
assumption that these architectural principles enable a better division
of labor between software development teams that must coordinate across
organizational, geographical, and cultural boundaries. The approach
seems promising, but it may require the presence of additional
supporting mechanisms such as process, governance, measurements,
knowledge management, awareness, collaboration, testing, change
management and requirements. The goal of this workshop is to bring
together both researchers and practitioners who are exploring problems
that lie at the intersection of these two areas to identify the core
challenges and examine approaches for improving the current state of the

Lots of little things

Lots of things have happened since my last post.  We had a fantastic ICSE workshop.  More details on that later.  Right now, we’re writing a proposal to IEEE Software for a special issue on CHASE (Computer and Human Aspects of Software Engineering).  I’ve also managed to scrounge up a mailing list with about 150 individuals from many different disciplines interested in issues related to CHASE.  In the meantime, I will at least try to keep this blog current with posts from others for various CFPs.  Related to that, see next post.

20th anniversary of Peopleware Panel

At ICSE 2007, they had a retrospective on the 20th anniversary of Peopleware. Ed Yourdon has a report on it at his blog here. You can also read about it in IEEE Software magazine here. I had never read Peopleware before, so decided shortly thereafter to read a copy. The first thing to note is that it’s hard to come by. Maybe not now – but a year ago, I had a lot of problems finding it. Finally the library found me a beat-up old copy. (I’m still waiting for the copy I ordered off ebay – guess I won’t ever see that one).

In a way, reading the book was reminiscent of reading Bill Curtis’ old articles – in the sense that, wow it’s already been said, and that was over 20-30 years ago now. I guess one thing I really liked about the book is that it took a much broader perspective than what I see the field currently focused on. Where many of the issues studied in the human side of software engineering focus on tools, and helping individuals, and some on team – this book looked more broadly at personality, management, even things like furniture. I think those issues are probably closer to bringing about real innovation than creating a new tool – but perhaps not.

Also, the book made me realize the lack of a coherent research agenda in the field of human side of software engineering. Perhaps this is because the literature is spread across disciplines and we don’t have a conference to attend (yet). But what would our “putting man on the moon” question be, as in deciphering the genetic code. And one thing that’s bothered me a bit – is when it comes to the human side of software engineering, what is it about software that is unique? Why can’t we just study management, or organizational behaviour, or innovation, or psychology, or any other field for that matter – why do we need to study these things in the context of software engineering?

Well anyhow, a bit of food for thought – and definitely get your hands on Peopleware – it’s a must read for this field.

Ethics and sequestering

As some of you may know, I moonlight as an ethicist  – which makes me an expert in the world of ethics of HSSE (because basically there is only me). Because there are so few people who actually know about both computer science and ethics, I was invited to be the NSERC respresentative on a Canadian national committee whose goal is to evolve the Tri-council Policy Statement which is the policy statement that governs all research involving humans. Basically, everyone at universities in Canada who do research with human subjects from sociologists to medical doctors must abide by the policy statement.

To make a long long story short, I am working with Judith Abbott to write the white paper on continuing ethics review. We wrote the original paper and just got comments from the public consultation. For the last two days, we have been sequestered in a dark room deep in the recesses of NSERC to address these comments.

Actually, I personally have a somewhat radical view of research ethics. Most of the time, I just believe you should give the subjects adequate information to judge the risks involved in participating in the research and then let them decide. Somehow, sometimes the whole research ethics board infrastructure seems somewhat paternalistic. But that being said, I guess, we need to ensure that researchers really do understand both the principles and practices surrounding the conduct of ethical research.

Anyhow, this post was really about being sequestered in a room with Judith for two days to polish off our consultation document based on the comments we received. We got pretty far. Most of the comments were quite positive, but some very negative, questioning in fact the need for ethics review at all. These comments typically come from people involved in the social sciences and humanities, primarily psychology. I certainly understand the frustration. Sometimes it appears to me that having only one document to address both SSH research and biomedical research is problematic. Anyhow, the new OER document is different, and we have made some recommendations on how to evolve the TCPS, including the mandatory reporting of changes to research and the reporting of unexpected events. I’ve probably already revealed too much, but if you are interested, I’ve authored a few papers, and certainly the PRE website has lots of information. Now the uber-committee will have to decide what to do with our recommendations. The new version of the TCPS is due in September.

Gotta say one thing though, sometimes I think of the TCPS as the bible, and we should only interpret it, not evolve it : )

CFP: ESEM 2008

The 2nd International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Metrics – ESEM 2008 (formally ISESE and METRICS) just posted their CFP. It will be in Kaiserslautern, Germany this year. The topics are pretty broad and certainly cover HSSE. I’ve not been in a long time, but the one time I went to ISESE, it was a great conference, and what’s more, very interesting colleagues to meet and network with – (I won’t tell you about my daughter eating too much cheesecake before our Disneyland trip – save that for another time). Anyhow, here is the CFP – two months left, so start working. ESEM 2008

CHASE, JCSCW, other ICSE workshops

First, let me apologize for having so many posts centred on CFPs and so few on other topics. I have some plans for interesting posts in the coming weeks/months, but right now have to be focused on the several workshops that I’m involved with for ICSE.

So, here are the links for a few interesting workshops at ICSE, plus the link for a special issue of JCSCW.

First, and dearest to my heart is CHASE – an ICSE workshop on “Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering.” Potential topics are varied, so look at the webpage. We will try to follow the workshop with a special issue of a journal, but we’re still working on that angle. The main goal of this workshop is to try to formalize the community studying this topic, and to share research results. Papers are due January 24th, but are only 4 page position papers or resarch reports, so get working!

Second, we are co-editing a special issue of Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work on “Software Development as Cooperative Work.” Here you have a much longer time frame to write the paper. Deadline for submissions is September 1st. So, if you haven’t already, frame a topic, and start to conduct the research. There is still loads of time.

I’m also on the PC for two interesting ICSE workshops definitely related to HSSE. The first one is “Socio-technical congruence.” The main topic is looking at coordination in software projects and teams, and how to achieve it more effectively. It is a much more specialized workshop topic than ours, and maybe relates more closely to your research. Should be very interesting, and it has a great organizing committee. This workshop is on a different day than ours, so you could easily attend both.

The second one is “Workshop on End User Software Engineering (WEUSE IV).” This workshop focuses on the challenges (and successes) facing end-users (and researchers in aiding end-users) in creating dependable software. This topic is becoming increasingly important in my research as I am involved in a project working with end-user scientists. Quite an interesting research area that is definitely related to HSSE. Again, this workshop is on a different day than the other two, so you can attend all three!

Any questions, let me know.

ICSE workshop on HSSE

Our ICSE 2008 workshop proposal on Human and Cognitive Aspects of Software Engineering (HCASE) has been accepted. It will be held May 13 at ICSE. More info to follow. Hope to see you in Leipzig.