Celebration Honors Prof. Dr. Hans Van Vliet

Friday, 28 November 2014

Auditorium of the VU University Amsterdam, Main Building, VU Campus

Please register (to symposium and/or farewell lecture) by sending an email to Mrs. Mojca Lovrencak (m.lovrencak@vu.nl).

Official flyer (PDF): Link


9.30: Registration, coffee and tea

10.00-11.00: “A Rationality Road”, dr. Antony Tang (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)

11.00-12.00: “Managing Architectural Knowledge in Practice”, dr. Remco de Boer (ArchiXL, the Netherlands)

12.00-13.30: lunch

13.30-14.30: “From Opinions to Facts: Building Products Customers Actually Use”, prof. dr.Jan Bosch (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden)

14.30-15.30: “Why is software so bad? (Is it?)”, prof. dr. Philippe Kruchten (University of British Columbia, Canada)



15.30: Coffee and tea

16.00: Farewell lecture prof. dr. Hans van Vliet: ”Software Engineering is social, too”. Abstract: The “software engineering” field is full of words that have a strong engineering flavor: maintenance, prototyping, development, and so on. These terms influence how we think about the field, and have resulted in a strong emphasis on technical aspects. However, software engineering is social too. The human aspects of the field have interested me since I entered the field in the early 1980’s, and have been central in much of my research. In this talk I will plea for a very central role of the human element in both teaching and research in software engineering.

17.00: Reception




Antony Tang

Title: Software Design – A Rationality Road (slides)

Abstract: We have often believed that experience and knowledge are essential to engineering good software systems. However, many industrial cases have shown that human behaviour and decisions play a key role in software projects. Rost and Glass wrote about the dark side of software engineering. They pointed out that lying and many other dark practices exist in the real world. When I left the software industry to do research, I studied design rationale in the hope to find ways to counter some of these dark practices. I conjectured that software design can be rational and objective. On this journey, I have learned that there are many intertwining human factors that get in the way of building good software.

Bio: Antony Tang is an associate professor in Swinburne University of Technology. He graduated at University of Melbourne in 1983 with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Commerce degrees. He received his PhD degree from Swinburne University of Technology in 2007. Prior to being a researcher, he spent over 2 decades working in the software industry. He designed and developed software systems for central banks, commercial banks, stockbrokers, telecoms, software houses and many companies. His research interests are software architecture design reasoning, software development processes, software architecture and knowledge engineering.


Remco de Boer

Title: Managing Architectural Knowledge in Practice (slides)

Abstract: Architectural knowledge is an organizational asset that should be managed. It is therefore not surprising that the architecture community has been discussing knowledge management issues and researching and developing tools and techniques to support architectural knowledge management for quite some time. These efforts have led to valuable insights into the nature of ‘architecting’, and the way in which architectural knowledge should be treated. Over the past five years, we have been applying these insights to our own architecture practice, especially in the public and semi-public sector, with the use of semantic wikis. In this talk, I would like to take the audience on a trip from the theory of architectural knowledge management, via our own experience with architectural knowledge management, to the value architectural knowledge management brings to organizations cooperating in an ‘architectural ecosystem’ and even beyond – to some of the promising areas we see for further advancement in the near future.

Bio: Remco de Boer is an architecture consultant at ArchiXL and CTO of its subsidiary XL&Knowledge. He is responsible for coordinating the company’s R&D activities and leads the development of its semantic knowledge management platform. As a practicing architect, he is currently involved in the design of a national reference architecture for the educational domain. He obtained his PhD from the VU University Amsterdam with a dissertation on architectural knowledge management. He is a member of the IFIP Working Group 2.10 on Software Architecture. Remco authored over 20 peer-reviewed publications, and has presented at numerous national and international conferences and workshops. His research interests include architectural knowledge management, traceability of architectural decisions, temporal aspects of knowledge, and socio-technical aspects of software intensive systems.

Jan Bosch

Title: From Opinions to Facts: Building Products Customers actually Use (slides)

Abstract: Research shows that for a typical system, more than half of all the features are never used. This is a colossal waste of R&D effort and is caused by companies asking customers and users what they want. Users don¹t know what they want and it¹s the engineer¹s job to find this out. Answering this question requires a systematic approach to exploring a broad set of hypotheses about functionality that might add value for users at different stages of development. The talk introduces the notion of Innovation Experiment Systems as a systematic method for optimizing the user experience of existing features, developing new features as well as developing new products. The method uses different techniques dependent on the stage of development, including pre-development, development and commercial deployment. In each stage, frequent customer involvement, both active and passive, is used to constantly establish and improve the user experience. The method is based on data from eight industrial cases and stresses the importance of speed and rapid iterations in development. The talk uses numerous examples from industry are used to illustrate the concepts.

Bio: Jan Bosch is professor of software engineering and director of the software research center at Chalmers University Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Earlier, he worked as Vice President Engineering Process at Intuit Inc where he also lead Intuit’s Open Innovation efforts and headed the central mobile technologies team. Before Intuit, he was head of the Software and Application Technologies Laboratory at Nokia Research Center, Finland. Before joining Nokia, he headed the software engineering research group at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, where he holds a professorship in software engineering. He received a MSc degree from the University of Twente, The Netherlands, and a PhD degree from Lund University, Sweden. His research activities include open innovation, innovation experiment systems, compositional software engineering, software ecosystems, software architecture, software product families and software variability management. He is the author of a book “Design and Use of Software Architectures: Adopting and Evolving a Product Line Approach” published by Pearson Education (Addison-Wesley & ACM Press), (co-)editor of several books and volumes in, among others, the Springer LNCS series and (co-)author of a significant number of research articles. He is editor for Science of Computer Programming, the Journal of Systems and Software, and has been guest editor for journal issues, chaired several conferences as general and program chair, served on many program committees and organized numerous workshops.

Philippe Kruchten

Title: Why is software so bad? (Is it?) (slides)

Abstract: With software so pervasive in most aspects of our lives, we all have endless stories to tell about its inadequacies, about bugs, failures or and even complete disasters. We’ve heard of the “software crisis” ever since the late 1970’s and we seem to have never gotten out of it. The “Chaos reports” spoke year after year of software project failures in the range of 30% to 50%… What is the real state of affairs? is software really that bad? Let us sort out the facts from the myths. And when it is bad or inadequate, with the help of a few software luminaries that we interviewed, we’ll investigate what are the root causes and what are our prospects for the future: will we improve the situation? How? When? Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

Bio: Philippe Kruchten is professor of software engineering at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. He teaches and conducts research in software architecture, software development processes and entrepreneurship. Prior to UBC he was at Rational Software (now IBM) for 17 years and at Alcatel for 8 years. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from Ecole Centrale de Lyon and a doctorate degree from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris.