Monday, April 15, 2013

Welcome to the new TCSE website!

This new website is designed to be a collaborative website. ExCom members are assigned to edit and monitor different parts of the website. As a result, the website will always be fresh and current, facilitate collaboration, be a forum for blogging, and be a stellar resource for TCSE and IEEE Computuer Society.

The main menu or components of this website are Home, News, Conferences, Perspectives (Practitioners, Academics, Students, Women in Engineering, and Standards), Blog, Awards, Media, Calendar, ExCom, IEEE Computer Society, and Contact.

The technology used to create this site is Google Sites.
Here is a serious of highly recommended tutorials on how to use Google sites. Read more


  1. The Tools Developers Actually Use-an interesting report.

    A fundamental question-exactly how designers and programmers reason about their work-that has not, in my view, been properly answered. Despite this, we still build support tools and wonder why many of them are not used.

    This paper,.(2006) Maintaining Mental Models: A Study of Developer Work Habits, by LaToza, T. D., Venolia, G.and DeLine,R , appeared in the Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Software Engineering Shanghai, 2006, pp 492-501 ( It describes studies of actual practice at Microsoft, and, depending upon your perspective, is a bit of an eye-opener, or as one would expect. The abstract says:-

    “To understand developers' typical tools, activities, and practices and their satisfaction with each, we conducted two surveys and eleven interviews. We found that many problems arose because developers were forced to invest great effort recovering implicit knowledge by exploring code and interrupting teammates and this knowledge was only saved in their memory. Contrary to expectations that email and IM prevent expensive task switches caused by face-to-face interruptions, we found that face-to-face communication enjoys many advantages. Contrary to expectations that documentation makes understanding design rationale easy, we found that current design documents are inadequate. Contrary to expectations that code duplication involves the copy and paste of code snippets, developers reported several types of duplication. We use data to characterize these and other problems and draw implications for the design of tools for their solution.”

    Regards, Karl Reed

  2. Jim Horning’s Software Hut-a seminal paper (1976).

    In 1976, J. J. Horning published a paper on called The software project as a serious game . Horning proposed a team software project in which the team had to play the role of a small software house (hence the title “software hut”), and the lecturer would play a variety of roles within the customer organisation.

    I have never understood why this paper is not cited more often. It influenced software engineering educators all over the world, and, many, like myself, had a load of fun running subjects based upon this idea. Over time, however, the idea morphed, and people dropped the role playing component. Instead, they went for projects with REAL customers, either within or without the University.

    The original citation is . Horning J. J. (1976) “The Software Project as a Serious Game” pp. 71-77 in Wasserman, A. I and Freeman, P. (eds), “Software Engineering Education: Needs and Objectives” Springer-Verlag 1976 (

    A more accessible discussion is Horning J. J. and Wortman D. B. “Software Hut: A computer program engineering project in the form of a game”
    IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering Vol. 3. No. 4 pp. 325-330 July 1997