Please consider submitting to the 29th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2014) in Vasteras, Sweden. I am on the external review panel of the research track. Please submit your papers by April 25 (abstracts: April 18). The conference will be held September 15-19, 2014.

The IEEE/ACM Automated Software Engineering (ASE) Conference series is the premier research forum for automated software engineering. Each year, it brings together researchers and practitioners from academia and industry to discuss foundations, techniques and tools for automating the analysis, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance of large software systems.

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Cowboys, Ankle Sprains, and Keepers of Quality

Video games make up an important part of the software industry, yet the software engineering community rarely studies video games. This imbalance is a problem if video game development differs from general software development, as some game experts suggest. In this paper we describe a study with 14 interviewees and 362 survey respondents. The study elicited substantial differences between video game development and other software development. For example, in game development, “cowboy coders” are necessary to cope with the continuous interplay between creative desires and technical constraints. Consequently, game developers are hesitant to use automated testing because of these tests’ rapid obsolescence in the face of shifting creative desires of game designers. These differences between game and non-game development have implications for research, industry, and practice. For instance, as a starting point for impacting game development, researchers could create testing tools that enable game developers to create tests that assert flexible behavior with little up-front investment.

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This paper describes patterns of skill progression in Forza Motorsports 4, an Xbox 360 racing game. Using in-game telemetry data from more than 200,000 players and 24 million races, we characterize how players use and customize driving assists such as the trajectory line, automatic gear shifting, or assisted braking over time. We find that some of the assists are never disabled by significant player segments. Some “yoyo” players repeatedly enable and disable assists. We also present a model to predict when a player is ready to successfully disable an assist with a precision ranging from 60 to 90 percent.

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In this paper, we present the results from two surveys related to data science applied to software engineering. The first survey solicited questions that software engineers would like to ask data scientists to investigate about software, software processes and practices, and about software engineers. Our analysis resulted in a list of 145 questions grouped into 12 categories. The second survey asked a different pool of software engineers to rate the 145 questions and identify the most important ones to work on first. Respondents favored questions that focus on how customers typically use their applications. We also see opposition to questions that assess the performance of individual employees or compare them to one another. Our categorization and catalog of 145 questions will help researchers, practitioners, and educators to more easily focus their efforts on topics that are important to the software industry.

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Build, creating software from source code, is a fundamental activity in software development. Build teams manage this process and ensure builds are produced reliably and efficiently. This paper presents an exploration into the nature of build teams—how they form, work, and relate to other teams—through three multi-method studies conducted at Microsoft. We also consider build team effectiveness and find that many challenges are social, not technical: role ambiguity, knowledge sharing, communication, trust, and conflict. Our findings validate theories from group dynamics and organization science, and using a cross-discipline approach, we apply learnings from these fields to inform the design of engineering tools and practices to improve build team effectiveness

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Please consider submitting to the International Workshop on Software Engineering Research and Industrial Practices, which will be co-located with the ICSE 2014 conference in Hyderabad, India. I will be giving the keynote . Please submit your papers by January 24, 2014.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss current state of Software Engineering (SE) research and Industrial Practices (IPs), and advance collaboration to reduce gap between research and practice. Research is core part of modern business which can lead to innovation in the form of new products and improvements in existing products and services. Most companies involved in IT solutions and services are facing challenges to incorporate research output into practices. Therefore, the challenges are to identify the gaps and to discover ways in collaboration to use SE research for the benefit of IPs.

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Please consider submitting to the 7th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, which will be co-located with the ICSE 2014 conference in Hyderabad, India. I am on the program committee of the workshop. Please submit your papers by January 24, 2014.

Software is created for and with a wide range of stakeholders, from customers to management, from value-added providers to customer service personnel. These stakeholders work with teams of software engineers to develop and evolve software systems that support their activities. All of these people and their interactions are central to software development. Thus, it is crucial to investigate the constantly-changing human and cooperative aspects of software development, both before and after deployment, in order to understand current software practices, processes, and tools. In turn, this enables us to design tools and support mechanisms that improve software creation, software maintenance, and customer communication.

Researchers and practitioners have long recognized the need to investigate these aspects, however, their articles are scattered across conferences and communities. This workshop will provide a unified forum for discussing high quality research studies, models, methods, and tools for human and cooperative aspects of software engineering.

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