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14 October 2008

SEAD Seminar: Design, Designers, and Designing: Understanding and Supporting Software Designers from a General Design Perspective

Location: KMI Podium, 4th floor Berrill Building
Time: 12.30pm - 2.00pm
Speaker(s): André van der Hoek

Much has been said about what software developers should do to design software. Less is known, however, about what they actually do when they design software. We can readily examine the outcomes of a given design session, in the form of diagrams and design documents of various kinds, but understanding the process by which those outcomes are achieved is much more difficult. Yet, building such an understanding is a critical step in furthering our ability to practice design as well as to educate software designers. This talk presents results from an ongoing, multi-pronged investigation into the nature of software design. We first introduce a novel, general framework of design that is rooted in a deep interdisciplinary study of design. We then place software design in the context of this framework, and present results from an early study in which we observed small teams of designers in action. We conclude with a look at a novel, sketching based design tool that we are developing based upon the understandings we have gained to date. BIO André van der Hoek is an associate professor in the Department of Informatics of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences and a faculty member of the Institute for Software Research, both at the University of California, Irvine. He holds a joint B.S. and M.S. degree in Business-Oriented Computer Science from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. André's research focuses on understanding and advancing the role of design, coordination, and education in software. His research is driven by a strong desire to offer practical solutions to real-world problems through the construction of novel software tools and environments. At the same time, his research is framed by a pursuit of novel theoretical contributions that derive from deep understandings of the field. Following this dual philosophy, he has developed several configuration management systems, designed the widely-used xADL 2.0 architecture description language, and created novel educational software engineering approaches used at institutions across the world. André is a member of the editorial board of ACM Transactions on Software Engineering, is program chair of FSE 2010, was a co-author on the Future of Software Engineering 2007 report on software architecture and design, and has served on numerous program committees across the field.

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