Thursday, May 28, 2009

31st International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) - Conference Report

Last week, I had the chance to participate in the 31st International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), in Vancouver, Canada. The conference had a great program composed of research papers, demonstrations, a track related to software engineering in practice (SEIP), a track also about new ideas and emerging results (NIER) and several parallel events such as the 6th International Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR), the 17th IEEE International Conference on Program Comprehension (ICPC), and the International Conference on Software Process (ICSP).

In these co-located events it is very good to see the growing of the MSR, it is incredible how it is getting attention from the community. On Monday, I spent the day hanging out the area in the morning and having some discussions with others participants. On Tuesday, it was performed the Software Requirements and Design: A Tribute to Michael Jackson, a full day workshop about his contributions in the field. The workshop was very well conducted by Pamela Zave and Bashar Nuseibeh. I believe that this kind of event it is very important to celebrate outstanding researchers working with software engineering. I had the chance to participate in previous ICSEs including the tribute to Barry Boehm. A book with his work similar to Barry Boehm, David Parnas and Vic Basili will be released soon.

On Wednesday, the conference started. The first keynote was Steve McConnell and his talk about: “10 Most Powerful Ideas in Software Engineering”. His presentation was interesting, especially, when he pointed out some ideas with a gauge showing the silly state of each one. His final list was:

1. Software Development Work is Performed by Human Beings.
2. Incrementalism.
3. Iteration.
4. Cost to Fix A Defect Increases Over Time.
5. Important Kernel of Truth in the Waterfall Model.
6. Software Estimation Can be Improved Over Time.
7. The Most Powerful Form of Reuse is Full Reuse.
8. Risk Management Provides Critical Insights into Many Core Software Development Issues. 9. Different Kinds of Software Call for Different Kinds of Software Development.

After Steve’s talk started the research papers and I had to run and switch among different rooms and sessions. In this day, I decided to see the following papers:
  • Tesseract: Interactive Visual Exploration of Socio-Technical Relationships in Software Development; and
  • Succession: Measuring Transfer of Code and Developer Productivity.

Next, I participated in NIER session with interesting new ideas and the SCORE competition by student teams. In this competition, Brazil was there with a team from UFPE, congrats, guys and Prof. Jaelson Castro their coach! In the end of the day, we had a small dinner with the conference members. It was good to talk a little bit more and meet others students and professors from Brazilian universities.

On Thursday, Carlo Ghezzi was the second keynote speaker with the theme: “Reflections on Forty-Plus Years of Software Engineering Researched Observed Through ICSE: An Insider’s View”. His presentation was very good with several data, charts, discussing what we produced, how to measure it, lessons learned and how to improve our current scenario. It was awesome!!

After that, I started to switch again among several presentations and I ended up with the following list:
  • Reasoning About Edits to Feature Models
  • How We Refactor, and How We Know It (Winner of ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Papers Award)
  • The Secret Life of Bugs: Going Past the Errors and Omissions in Software Repositories
  • Discovering and Representing Systematic Code Changes.
Still in this day, we had discussion about Software Engineering for the Planet and Reflecting on Development Processes in the Video Game Industry. Finally, the paper N Degrees of Separation: Multi-Dimensional Separation of Concerns was presented and won the the most influential paper award.

On Friday, Pamela Zave was the last keynote and presented Software Engineering for the Next Internet. After Pamela’s talk, I participated in a session on Multicore Software Engineering and saw some challenges in the area and other papers such as:

  • Does Distributed Development Affect Software Quality? An Empirical Case Study of Windows Vista (Winner of ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Papers Award); and
  • How to Avoid Drastic Software Process Change (using Stochastic Stability), and
  • Do Code Clones Matter?.

It was the report about this ICSE.

Next year, see you in South Africa.

P.S: I did not see the keynote presentations on the website. However, all the keynotes sent me it after my request. So, try it too.

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