Charla: "Oktoberfest Engineering" - On the Socialness of Software”

Prof. Walid Maalej
22 Julio, 2013 - 16:30
Auditorio 4to Piso



Walid Maalej is an assistant professor of informatics at the University of Hamburg and the head of the Mobile Services and Software Engineering group. He is the recipient of the ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award in 2012 and the Werner-von-Siemens-Ring medal for Germany’s top Researcher in Informatics (2010-2013). His current research interests include innovative mobile services, context-aware adaptive systems, and human factors in software engineering. He supervised more than 30 M.Sc and Ph.D. theses and published three books and more than 40 peer-reviewed papers on these topics.

Walid is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Systems and Software. He chaired the practice track of the IEEE RE’10 Conference, and successfully organized 12 international scientific events. Walid served as consultant and developer for numerous companies including Siemens, Tata Consultancy Services, Rohde und Schwarz, and Telekom. Previously, he was leading a research group on context and human aspects in software at the TU Munich, where he received his M.Sc. in 2006 and his Ph.D. in 2010 – both with distinction. Walid is the initiator and lead architect of the open source projects TeamWeaver and FastFix.

Abstract: What do Oktoberfest and software have in common? Both cannot be successful without a strong user and community involvement, which I call socialness. While socialness has been the main success factor of Oktoberfest over the last 200 years, in this talk I will argue why socialness will be the main success factor of software systems and software engineering projects over the next 200 years.

Conventional software engineering processes are rather transactional and lack a common theory for the involvement of users and their communities. Users are regarded as pure consumers, who are, at most, able to report issues. In the age of pervasive mobile software and easy knowledge exchange, discounting the users of software might threaten its success. Potentially valuable experiences and volunteered resources get lost. Frustrated users might even meet in social communities to argue against the software and harm its reputation.

I will discuss means to revolutionize the role of users, dissolving the boundaries to software engineers. First I will reports on empirical studies on the content and impact of user feedback in the form of reviews in the App Store and blogs in Open Source Communities. Then I will present a novel framework to systematically increase the socialness of software, enabling engineering teams to systematically collect and exploit user feedback in the software lifecycle. The framework observes users’ interactions while they use the software to identify their context and predict their intentions, collecting in situ feedback about software.


Secretaría de Investigación