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ICSE 2023
Sun 14 - Sat 20 May 2023 Melbourne, Australia

This special Future of Software Engineering track will feature presentations and discussions from top researchers and industry leaders on some key directions in future software engineering. The track is part of the main ICSE programme, planned for one 90-minute session on each day of the main conference with 4 speakers (10-minute talk each on a specific future software engineering topic) and a 50 minute Q&A, panel-style discussion. 

Track chairs: 

  • Hoa Khanh Dam, University of Wollongong, Australia 
  • Xing Hu, Zhejiang University, China


Details of speakers and talks:

Speaker: Andreas Zeller

Title: The Future of System Testing

Abstract: Testing at the system level always has been hard: Where do I get inputs from? How can I assess the output of the system? Modern, language-based approaches allow to specify, generate, and check even complex system interactions. This way, we can address both the test generation and the oracle problem, and open new directions in testing, debugging, monitoring, and program understanding.

Bio: Andreas Zeller is faculty at the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security and professor for Software Engineering at Saarland University, both in Saarbrücken, Germany. His research on automated debugging, mining software archives, specification mining, and security testing has proven highly influential. Zeller is an ACM Fellow and holds an ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award.


Speaker: David Lo

Title: Trustworthy and Synergistic AI4SE: Vision and Road Ahead

Abstract: AI for Sofware Engineering (AI4SE) is a rapidly growing area. This talk will describe a vision of the future of AI4SE. Specifically, how AI4SE can realize trustworthy and synergistic AI-powered bots that can work well with one another and software engineers. I will start by describing a vision of AI4SE bots transitioning from smart tools to smart workmates, exercising responsible autonomy as *trustworthy* assistants, peers, and even managers. They will be well integrated dynamically into evolving software engineering teams, where there will be *synergistic* bot-bot, human-bot, and human-human interactions. There will also be a new economy, regulations, and best practices surrounding the AI4SE bot market. The end result will be a symbiotic workforce of trustworthy, autonomous, intelligent bots and software engineers, enabling the creation and maintenance of higher-quality and increasingly more complex software at a much faster pace. I will end this talk by describing some directions and milestones that I believe will help realize this vision, along with a call to arms for AI4SE researchers in particular, and SE researchers in general, to join forces in making this vision a future reality.

Bio: David Lo is a Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Information and Systems Cluster at School of Computing and Information Systems, Singapore Management University. He leads the Software Analytics Research (SOAR) group. His research interest is in the intersection of software engineering, cybersecurity, and data science, encompassing socio-technical aspects and analysis of different kinds of software artifacts, with the goal of improving software quality and security and developer productivity. His work has been published in major and premier conferences and journals in the area of software engineering, AI, and cybersecurity attracting substantial


Speaker: Gail Murphy

Title: Enabling Flow in Software Development

Abstract: Producing high-quality functional software that is reliable and robust requires, and will continue to require, coordination between and amongst humans and software tools. As the sophistication of software tools used in software development grows, we must continually re-evaluate what are the best roles for humans and what are the best roles for software tools? In addition to defining roles, we need to orchestrate how humans and software tools in these roles work together to produce desired outcomes. This talk will outline some of the existing and upcoming challenges in combining individual advances about software development into addressing the problems organizations face daily in delivering successful software products.

Bio: Gail C Murphy is Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Vice-President Research & Innovation at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on improving the productivity of software developers and knowledge workers by providing the necessary tools to identify, manage and coordinate the information that matters most for their work. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), as well as co-founder of Tasktop Technologies.


Speaker: Krysta Svore

Title: The path to quantum at scale

Abstract: While quantum computing promises to help solve some of the great challenges ahead, we are still in the early days of what will be possible. Today’s quantum computers enable exciting research and early development, however their small scale often limits what’s possible and leaves an eagerness to do more. Quantum at scale requires three foundational elements: an industrial scale quantum machine, the power of the cloud, and an ecosystem of innovators. Where does it all come together? Azure Quantum, Microsoft’s platform for quantum innovation and exploration. Learn how Microsoft is architecting the scalable quantum machine, and empowering innovators with quantum at scale to understand the number of qubits and runtime required for a quantum solution on future scaled quantum machines, to run small instances on today’s diverse and maturing quantum hardware, and to prepare for tomorrow’s scaled quantum compute. 

Bio: Krysta Svore leads the Azure Quantum software team (formerly the Quantum Architectures and Computation group at Microsoft Research) for Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, where she is Distinguished Scientist and Vice President of Quantum Software. She is passionate about quantum computation and determining how to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems by using a quantum computer. Her research focuses on quantum algorithms and how to implement them, ranging from how to code them in a high-level programming language, to how to optimize the resources they require, to how to implement them in hardware. 


Speaker: Laurie Williams

Title: The Future of Software Security:  Beyond the Security Silo to All of Us

Abstract: The US National Vulnerability Database indicates an ever-upward trend in reported vulnerabilities. Attackers only get more motivated, more aggressive, and more intelligent. The 2022 Verizon Data Breach report summarized the most recent trend, “… the financially motivated criminals and nefarious nation-state actors have rarely, if ever, come out swinging the way they did over the last 12 months.” The attackers are expanding their paths into software systems (a.k.a. their attack vectors) and searching for the weakest links in systems, which is often the system user. Detecting and responding to vulnerabilities is the least efficient and most reactive way to deal with security. Proactively designing and building security into software systems, languages, and frameworks is more efficient and effective, involving all software engineering. In this talk, I will summarize trends in software security research in software engineering venues over the past three years and identify opportunities for expanding software security research in software engineering. 

Bio: Laurie Williams is a Distinguished University Professor in the Computer Science Department of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Laurie is a co-director of the NCSU Science of Security Lablet. She is also the Chief Cybersecurity Technologist of the SecureAmerica Institute. Her research focuses on software security; agile software development practices and processes, including continuous deployment; and software reliability, software testing and analysis. Laurie is an NSF CAREER award winner, an ACM Distinguished Scientist, and an IEEE Fellow.


Speaker: Lionel Briand

Title: How is the rapid progress in Artificial Intelligence affecting the future of Software Engineering?

Abstract: Various AI technologies are making enormous progress at dumbfounding speed.

This is, for example, the case of language models, few-shot learning, or clustering methods.

This has an impact on many aspects of software engineering, ranging from requirements elicitation to automated testing and run-time verification. This talk and the ensuing discussion will discuss the implications of those changes for our community.

Bio: Lionel C. Briand is professor of software engineering and has shared appointments between (1) The University of Ottawa, Canada and (2) The SnT centre for Security, Reliability, and Trust, University of Luxembourg. In collaboration with colleagues, over 25 years, he has run many collaborative research projects with companies in the automotive, satellite, aerospace, energy, financial, and legal domains. Lionel has held various engineering, academic, and leading positions in six countries. He was one of the founders of the ICST conference (IEEE Int. Conf. on Software Testing, Verification, and Validation, a CORE A event) and its first general chair. He was also EiC of Empirical Software Engineering (Springer) for 13 years and led, in collaboration with first Victor Basili and then Tom Zimmermann, the journal to the top tier of the very best publication venues in software engineering.


Speaker: Mark Harman

Title: Generative Artificial Intelligence for Software Engineering

Abstract: Generative Artificial Intelligence has made great advances in recent years. It has enormous potential to drive software engineering up the abstraction chain, relieving engineers of many details which are currently tedious and time consuming. This will have a profound impact on many areas of software engineering research. In this talk we review some of these. We give suggestions for future research on hybrid technologies that incorporate Generative AI into software engineering workflows.

Bio: Mark Harman is an engineering manager at Facebook London, and also a part time professor of Software Engineering in the Department of Computer Science at University College London, where he directed the CREST centre for ten years (2006-2017) and was Head of Software Systems Engineering (2012-2017). His scientific work includes source code analysis, software testing, app store analysis and Search Based Software Engineering (SBSE), a field he co-founded and which has grown rapidly to include over 1,600 authors spread over more than 40 countries. In February 2017, he and the other two co-founders of the start-up Majicke moved to Facebook, London, where they are working on software test automation.


Speaker: Miryung Kim

Title: Software Engineering for Big Data and Hardware Heterogeneity

Abstract: With the development of big data, machine learning, and AI, existing software engineering techniques must be re-imagined to provide the productivity gains that developers desire. Furthermore, specialized hardware accelerators like GPUs or FPGAs have become a prominent part of the current computing landscape. However, developing heterogeneous applications is limited to a small subset of programmers with specialized hardware knowledge. To improve productivity and performance for data-intensive software development, now is the time that the software engineering community should design new waves of refactoring, testing, and debugging tools for big data analytics and heterogeneous application development.

Bio: Miryung Kim is a Professor and a Vice Chair of Graduate Studies in UCLA Computer Science. She directs Software Engineering and Analysis Laboratory. She helped define the new area of Software Engineering for Data Intensive Computing (SE4DA and SE4ML). She works on automated testing and debugging for Apache Spark and developer tools for heterogeneous computing. She conducted the first systematic study of refactoring practices in industry and quantified rearchitecting benefits at Microsoft using Windows version history. She conducted the largest scale study of data scientists in industry. Her group's Java bytecode debloating JDebloat made a tech transfer impact to Navy.


Speaker: Paris Avgeriou

Title: Technical Debt: are we there yet?

Abstract: The term Technical Debt has undeniably become part of the everyday vocabulary of software engineers. We know that it concerns compromises to the internal quality of a system, made either deliberately or inadvertently. We understand that it’s not all bad, as it may have served the purpose of expediency at some point. But, it is associated with a clear risk especially for large and complex systems: if we do not manage Technical Debt, it threatens to “bankrupt” those systems. Action must be taken before we reach the point of no return. In this talk we revisit the state of the art in managing Technical Debt, we identify challenges and discuss promising future directions.

Bio: Dr. Paris Avgeriou is Professor of Software Engineering at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands where he has led the Software Engineering research group since September 2006. He is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Systems and Software, as well as an Associate Editor for IEEE Software. He also sits on the editorial board of Springer Transactions on Pattern Languages of Programming (TPLOP). He has co-organized several international conferences and workshops (mainly at ICSE). His research interests lie in the area of software architecture, with strong emphasis on architecture modeling, knowledge, evolution, patterns and technical debt. He champions the evidence-based paradigm in Software Engineering research and works towards closing the gap between industry and academia.


Speaker: Tim Menzies

Title: Got ethics?

Abstract: The nature of software engineering is changing. Software is now every ware so it is time we acknowledged our role in observing and controlling the world around us. Now that the age of brackets matching is over (thanks to tools like e.g. Github copilot), the next generation of software engineers will spend more time exploring the effects of software   and less time on, internally,  how to achieve those effects. That next generation can decide to be part of a problem (of untested software, potentially hurting people in the world around us) or part of the solution (of trusted and tested software that society uses to better explore, understand, and control the world around us). What kind of software engineer do you want to be?

Bio: Tim Menzies (IEEE Fellow, Ph.D., UNSW, 1995) is a full Professor in CS at North Carolina State University where he teaches software engineering, automated software engineering, and foundations of software science. He is the directory of the RAISE lab (real world AI for SE) and the author of over 280 publications (refereed). In his career, he has supervised 20 Ph.D. students, and has been a lead researcher on projects for NSF, NIJ, DoD, NASA, USDA (total funding of $13+ million) as well as joint research work with private companies. Prof. Menzies is the editor-in-chief of the Automated Software Engineering journal and associate editor of TSE (IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering) and other leading SE journals.


Speaker: Thomas Zimmermann

Title: AI and ML: The Software Engineers of the Future

Abstract: Artificial intelligence and machine learning are rapidly transforming the field of software engineering. From automated code generation to intelligent debugging and testing, AI and ML are providing new tools and capabilities that are changing the way we build and maintain software. In this talk, I will explore the current and potential future roles of AI and ML in software engineering and discuss how these technologies are already having an impact on the industry. I will also consider the challenges and considerations that come with the increasing use of AI and ML in software development. This talk will provide an overview of the exciting opportunities and potential pitfalls of AI and ML in software engineering.

Bio: Thomas Zimmermann is a Sr. Principal Researcher in the Productivity and Intelligence (P+I) and Software Analysis and Intelligence (SAINTes) groups at Microsoft Research. His professional interests are software engineering, data science, and recommender systems. He is best known for his research on systematic mining of version archives and bug databases to conduct empirical studies and to build tools to support developers and managers. At Microsoft, he uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate and overcome software engineering challenges. His current work is on productivity of software developers and data scientists at Microsoft. In the past, he analyzed data from digital games, branch structures, and bug reports.

Speaker: Myra Cohen

Title: The Software Revolution of Obfuscation

Abstract: The use of advanced computational tools in every discipline is exploding. Scientists are building sophisticated programs to analyze and predict biological phenomenon, to learn climate trends, and to understand chemical interactions. Businesses are utilizing machine learning libraries to create algorithms that both predict client behavior as well as enhance their customers’ experience. Hence, we are looking to a future where everyone is a programmer and programming is everywhere. However, software remains inherently complex, and this new breed of software suffers from weakly known oracles, heavy reliance on data, a trust in a closed box view of computation, and excessive configurability. Software is likely to be buggy, unreliable, non-reusable, flaky, and frankly -- surprising. Rather than lead a new generation of end-user-developers to the edge of a chasm with few safety ropes in tow, we have an opportunity now to design for the future. We should be designing novel ways to pry open the magic boxes, creating non-intrusive techniques for explainability and interpretability, provide easy-to-deploy validation techniques that empower domain experts, and build in the easy creation and inclusion of meta-data, documentation and first class configurability.

Bio: Myra Cohen is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Iowa State University, and the Lanh & Oanh Nguyen Endowed Chair of Software Engineering. Her research interests are in software testing of highly-configurable software, search based software engineering, and synergies between systems and synthetic biology. She was recently selected as a Better Scientific Software Fellow to help improve software testing in scientific domains. She an ACM Distinguished Scientist, and serves on the steering committees of ASE and ESEC/FSE, and is active in other software engineering conference organizational roles. She was the program co-chair for ESEC/FSE 2020 and ICST 2019 and was the general chair of ASE in 2015.

Accepted Papers

AI and ML: The Software Engineers of the Future
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
Enabling Flow in Software Development
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
Generative Artificial Intelligence for Software Engineering
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
Got ethics?
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
How is the rapid progress in Artificial Intelligence affecting the future of Software Engineering?
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
Software Engineering for Big Data and Hardware Heterogeneity
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
Technical Debt: are we there yet?
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
The Future of Software Security: Beyond the Security Silo to All of Us
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
The Future of System Testing
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
The path to quantum at scale
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
The Software Revolution of Obfuscation
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering
Trustworthy and Synergistic AI4SE: Vision and Road Ahead
FoSE - Future of Software Engineering