My current visit of down under (Australia) provided me with several opportunities to visit several colleagues, albeit for short catch meetings, and share our current research directions and outcomes. My discussions and invited talks mainly focused on our experiences of devising and executing an ambitious agenda of taking an interdisciplinary approach to combining our historical interests in technological focused research and development efforts with our increasing attention to the socio-cognitive aspects of the origin, development, and use of the technologies (i.e., tools, middleware, design methods) that we devise and empirically assess. This kind of research falls within the theme of “human-centric software engineering” that is increasingly gaining attention of software engineering community. During my visit, I gave three talks about our experiences of human-centric software engineering research at three places: University of Technology Sydney, NICTA, and the University of Adelaide.
It was great to speak about a theme that has been driving our research agenda for the last few years and also provide a focal points for the team members who have a diverse research interests and directions ranging from very technology focused cloud computing to socio-technical focused social ties and social structures and Activity Based Computing combining both technology and socio-cognitive aspects. The slides from talks are here (there were some small variation in the slides for each of the three talks but no major difference). And following was the abstract of my talk to give you some idea about what I would have spoken about.
One of our main research goals is to empirically understand how software engineers work with technologies and interact with each other when developing software. To this end, we have conducted several dozens of empirical studies in industrial and academic environments. The evidence and lessons from these studies have enabled us to assess current research, identify the promising areas of research, improve our teaching, and forge fruitful ties with industrial partners. In this talk, I will share our experiences of applying different empirical approaches to guide the human-centric software engineering research. This talk will draw examples from our research in the areas of global software engineering, activity based computing, and cloud computing.