Upcoming Research Talk on Software Engineering Beyond the Project: Sustaining Software Ecosystems

The computer science department by way of our research group is hosting a colloquium talk (free and open to the public):

  • by: Prof. Dr. Yvonne Dittrich, IT-University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • about: Software Engineering Beyond the Project: Sustaining Software Ecosystems
  • on: Monday, 18. January 2016, 4:15pm
  • at: Cauerstr. 11, 91058 Erlangen, Room 01.150-128

Abstract: The main part of software engineering methods, tools and technologies has developed around projects as the central organisational form of software development. A project organisation depends on clear bounds regarding scope, participants, development effort and lead-time. What happens when these conditions are not given? The article claims that this is the case for software product specific ecosystems. As software is increasingly developed, adopted and deployed in the form of customisable and configurable products, software engineering as a discipline needs to take on the challenge to support software ecosystems. In the talk I will present a an interview study designed based on long term research engagement with 4 companies. The analysis results in a set of common features of product development and evolution despite differences in size, kind of software and business models. The findings address the relation to the use context, the maintenance of the architectural design, and the development respectively evolution process. The reported practices challenge some of the very core assumptions of traditional software engineering, but make perfect sense, considering that the frame of reference for product development is not a project but continuous innovation across the product specific ecosystems. The talk provides a number of concrete points for further research.

Speaker: Dr. Yvonne Dittrich works as an associate professor at the IT-University of Copenhagen. Her research relates cooperative and human aspects of software engineering with use orientation in software development and end-user development. She developed an empirical research approach ‘Cooperative Method Development’ which relates ethnographic research and problem oriented software process improvement. Most of her research takes place in collaboration with industry and public organisations. (

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