Reporting from ICSE’18

The biggest software engineering conference, bringing together both academia and industry, is the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE). Thus, it’s only fitting that also a PervComp representative would attend the conference to sniff around on new trends in research and insights from practitioners, in addition to meeting a whole heap of new people (1700+ attendees this year!). This year the conference was conveniently held in Gothenburg, 30.5.-1.6.2018.

This year marked the 40th anniversary of ICSE, and there were appropriate celebrations in place. The organizing committee had pulled out all stops by getting keynotes from Fred Brooks and Margaret Hamilton.

On the first day of conference a new event, the Industry Forum, was organized, to further aid bridging the gap between academia and industry. The event brought talks and panels from industry representatives, as well as a variety of social events (including speed dating!) to help networking.

Artificial intelligence was a hot topic, and it was seen in many keynotes both for the main conference and for the SEIP (Software Engineering in Practice) track.

As a representative of academia, the SEET (Software Engineering Education and Training) track is also always particularly interesting, and this year there were really interesting presentations particularly on teaching project management (leading to a nice exchange of thoughts in Twitter!), how to handle a massive course which requires attendance on campus (solution: Slack!) and how to ensure better gender equality in student selection – starting from really paying attention on how we promote our programs to high school students.

From the Finnish point of view, DevOps appeared already in one keynote, but otherwise the buzzword of processes was still Agile, and particularly the Scaled Agile Framework, which was a particularly hot topic in the context of Global Software Engineering and appeared in many presentations at ICGSE (International Conference on Global Software Engineering), which was arranged co-located with ICSE 28.-29.5..

I also had a chance to attend the workshop RAISE (Realizing Artificial Intelligence Synergies in Software Engineering), from which one should note Tim Menzies’ keynote. To all those still unfamiliar with the field of Search-Based Software Engineering, heads up – even NASA uses evolutionary algorithms.

The conference is such a big event it needs to be well-organized, and the Swedes did it well. The saddest thing was that there was only one of me and over 4 parallel tracks, so at times one had to make tough choices on which presentation to listen to. To all interested, ICSE proceedings are freely available for all on the conference homepage: https://www.icse2018.org/

 

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