Newsletter (to FAU Students) 2017-02

Hello everyone, and welcome back to our Newsletter!

Table of Contents

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Amazon Echo and Echo Dot Have Landed

Below, please get a first glimpse of some of the tech we will be using in the upcoming summer 2017 AMOS projects.

Alexa, beam me up!

Upcoming Interview Workshop with Christian Nester

We will host a (technical) interview workshop at FAU:

  • by: Christian Nester
  • about: Technical Interviews at Google
  • on: 2017-02-06, 10:00 Uhr (max. 90min.)
  • at: Martensstr. 3, 02.152-113

Abstract: This is an workshop for practising technical interviews at Google. It gives you an overview of interviews and hiring at Google and offers an opportunity to practise some interview questions and get feedback. The material is from Google, but other software companies use similar interview processes as well. If you are interested in attending the workshop please signup here

Speaker: Christian leads a Gmail development team in Zurich. In this role, he focuses on server side software as well as client development. Before joining Gmail he worked as a software engineer in the Google Shopping team. Prior to Google, Christian was a software developer at SAP in Germany and Skyva International in the US. Christian has a diploma degree in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe.

Upcoming Industry Talk on Cluster Management at Google by Christian Nester

We will host an industry talk on “Cluster Management at Google” in ADAP, our course on advanced design and programming (free and open to the public):

  • by: Christian Nester
  • about: Cluster Management at Google
  • on: 2017-02-06, 13:00 Uhr
  • at: Cauerstr. 7/9, Room 0.154-115
  • as part of: ADAP

Abstract: This talk gives an overview of the cluster management system used at Google. The cluster management system runs virtually every server side application at Google. This means it runs thousands of different tasks in a large number of data centres across the world. This talk gives an overview of the system, its architecture as how the user sees it. The talk also gives some insights into the challenges of workload distribution and using clusters efficiently.

Speaker: Christian leads a Gmail development team in Zurich. In this role, he focuses on server side software as well as client development. Before joining Gmail he worked as a software engineer in the Google Shopping team. Prior to Google, Christian was a software developer at SAP in Germany and Skyva International in the US. Christian has a diploma degree in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe.

Newsletter (to FAU Students) 2017-01

Table of Contents

  1. “Wissenschaftlicher Anspruch”
  2. Lectures on Youtube
  3. Upcoming startups
  4. Studying in China
  5. Letter to stakeholders

Continue reading Newsletter (to FAU Students) 2017-01

Making Introductions for Job Interviews

As a human being, as a professional, and more recently as a professor, I’m happy to help people find jobs (time permitting). In fact, as a professor we have tagged HR professionals in our CRM database so that we can reach out easily to them. Still, introductions for job interviews require preparation on the side of the job seeker. There are a couple of things to consider.

The most common mistake that job seekers make is to ask me: Help me find a job in software engineering or product management or something else. Even if accompanied by a resume, what am I supposed to make of this? Pass on the resume to every company in the world?

The job of job seeking starts with the job seeker. They must find out where they want to go.

If they can’t, they should at least determine some companies of interest to them and provide them to me so that I can decide whether I can actually be of help.

Continue reading Making Introductions for Job Interviews

Clarification of “wissenschaftlicher Anspruch” (Scientific Aspiration) in Final Theses

Please see this new page on our website:

Final Thesis: The Uni1 Immune System for Continuous Delivery

Abstract: In this thesis we propose an immune system for the continuous delivery process of the Uni1 application. We add canary deployments and show how continuous monitoring can be used to detect negative behaviour of the application as a result of a recent deployment. Analyzing the Uni1 application is done via user defined health conditions, which are based on a number of metrics monitored by the immune system. In case of degraded behaviour, the immune system uses rollbacks to revert the Uni1 application to the last stable version. With the help of the immune system, application developers do no longer have to manually monitor whether a deployment completes successfully, but instead can rely on the immune system to gracefully handle deployment errors.

Keywords: Continuous delivery, continuous deployment, system monitoring, immune system

PDFs: Final thesis, Work description

Reference: Philipp Eichhorn. The Uni1 Immune System for Continuous Delivery. Master Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2016.

The 2016 Letter to Stakeholders (Year-end)

Welcome to the 2016 (year-end) letter to stakeholders of the Professorship of Open Source Software at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg! (Download as PDF.)

  1. Highlights
  2. Research
  3. Teaching
  4. Industry
  5. Finances
  6. Alumni
  7. Thank you!


In 2016, we started multiple new research projects and intensified the work on existing ones: Inner source with Siemens Digital Factory, Healthineers (former Siemens Healthcare), and Continental Corporation, open source governance with a large unnamed multi-national company, and continuous deployment and open data integration with several energy distribution companies and academic partners.

Following a 2015 ICSE paper, we published two top-tier journal papers in 2016, one in Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE) and one in ACM Computing Surveys. The TSE paper led to a journal-first invited research talk at FSE 2016, next to ICSE one of the two top software engineering conferences.

Continue reading The 2016 Letter to Stakeholders (Year-end)

A Short Overview of Our Research Areas and Projects

Inner source software engineering

Inner source software development is software development utilizing open source best practices and processes for firm-internal software development. Engineering artifacts are laid open to the whole organization, inviting use and potential contribution across organizational boundaries. Inner source breaks down development silos and complements traditional top-down development structuring with bottom-up self-organization. Firms benefit from better code reuse and improved knowledge sharing, among other things.

Read more …

Continuous deployment

Continuous deployment is the process of “continuously” putting engineering innovation into production. In software, done right, continuous deployment leads to innovation release cycles that are counted in minutes rather than months or years. We are researching the full tool chain, practices, and processes, ranging from code repository to live monitoring of the continuously deployed system. A current focus is on the “immune system”, the system monitoring component that recognizes a bad deployment and rolls it back.

Read more …

Requirements engineering (QDAcity-RE)

Requirements engineering today is lacking “pre-RS” traceability—the ability to trace back requirements to stakeholders who asked for them and how conflicting requirements were resolved and decisions were made as to how to prioritize requirements. The QDAcity-RE project is utilizing qualitative data analysis (QDA) methods for determining requirements from “soft” input like interviews, workshops, and prior documentation. QDAcity-RE speeds up the elucidation process of high-quality, pre-RS-traceable requirements.

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Corporate open source governance

Open source governance (and compliance) are the firm-internal processes that ensure that a firm can benefit from using high-quality open source components in their products. Risks posed by the ungoverned use of open source in products are loss of exclusive ownership of the source code and patents associated with the software as well as potentially high fines or lawsuit settlement costs when dragged into court. We are guiding firms to proper open source governance using a best-practice handbook (for good governance).

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Open source business models

According to the forthcoming Bitkom manifest on open source, a successful software industry not only uses open source, but strategically leads open source projects. While contributing patches to non-differentiation open source components may be a no-brainer, deciding on when to join an open source foundation or start an open source project requires more thought. We are developing tools, practices, and processes for situation assessment and decision making on strategic leadership in open source software development.

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Distributed knowledge collaboration (Sweble)

Git and related projects have given the world a new decentralized way of collaborating around source code. The Sweble project applies a similar collaboration model to knowledge content, e.g. wikis. Use cases are cross-department collaboration, vendor-customer collaboration, and cross-company collaboration. By replacing the centralized model of knowledge collaboration with a decentralized one, Sweble gives different groups and companies independence of work while allowing for fast and efficient integration when desired.

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