Studying Professional Software Design

An NSF-Sponsored International Workshop
February 8th-10th, 2010, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
Call for Papers

This call can be downloaded in PDF format here.

The goal of the workshop is to collect a foundational set of observations and insights into software design, drawing on theories and methods from a variety of research disciplines. The workshop aims to build this understanding by considering both software design’s role in the software development process and its role in the larger design context. Accordingly, this workshop will bring together participants from various communities, including software engineering, general design, human-computer interaction, cognitive science, and psychology.

The workshop will focus on the analysis of a common data set. We will make available to each participant videos and transcripts of three pairs of professional software designers, working on the conceptual design of a software system. Participants will be asked to submit and present a paper based on an analysis of these videos. After the workshop, an edited book will be produced based on selected papers, revised as appropriate.

Participants are asked to provide insight into the design activities depicted in the provided videos. The analysis underpinning the insight may vary widely. Note that in this call, we use the word “analysis” in a broad sense, referring to a systematic examination and interpretation of the data. In particular, the analysis might vary:

  • in coverage: An analysis may make use of all or a subset of the provided material, and may draw on other data (for example, via comparison to another study).
  • in perspective: An analysis may adopt one of several lenses for considering the data. Among others, a technical, cognitive, social, or general design perspective might be adopted.
  • in method: Analysis may employ one or more of a variety of research techniques, such as process modelling, discourse analysis, grounded reflection, inductive analysis, or quantifications.
  • in focus: Analysis may focus on a variety of subjects, including but explicitly not limited to such topics as: interpersonal communication, design strategies, design moves, use of formalisms, use of informal representations, decision-making approaches, and comparison to established methodologies.

We welcome papers that provide comparisons to other studies within software engineering, as well as comparisons to other design disciplines.

Important Deadlines and Other Dates

September 7th, 2009

Statement of interest / request for access to videos/transcripts

October 5th, 2009

Preliminary one-page position statement

December 7th, 2009

Submission of papers

December 21st, 2009

Notification of acceptance

January 8th, 2010

Registration deadline

February 8th-10th, 2010


January 16th, 2012

Submission of revised papers

Statement of Interest / Request for Videos/Transcripts – September 7th, 2009
Potential participants must inform the organizers of their interest in the workshop by this date. Interested parties will be provided with access to the workshop’s videos and transcripts.

Preliminary One-Page Position Statement – October 5th, 2009
Participants should submit a short expression of interest, describing:

  • How they plan to analyse the data.
  • Which parts of the data they will concentrate on.
  • How the proposed research will be informed by previous research.

This information will assist the workshop organizers in ensuring balance in the workshop program.

Submission of Papers – December 7th, 2009
Papers will provide an analysis of all or part of the provided videos. Papers must be at most 10 pages in length, including citations and visuals. Additional submission information, including formatting instructions, can be found at here. We reserve the right to reject any papers that clearly do not engage with the data or the overall spirit of the workshop. Preprints for the workshop will be produced from these papers.

Notification of Acceptance – December 21st, 2009
Authors will be notified whether their paper has been accepted by this date.

Registration Deadline – January 8th, 2010
Participation of authors of accepted papers must be confirmed via registration for the workshop. Registration information can be found at the workshop web site.

Submission of revised papers – June 7th, 2010
Following the workshop, authors of selected papers will be asked to submit revisions based on the discussions at the workshop for publication in an edited book. Authors may be asked to serve as peer reviewers.

Who Should Participate
An explicit goal of the workshop is to involve a highly interdisciplinary set of researchers, in order to: (a) place software design in a broader, general design perspective, and (b) apply a wide variety of research methods to a common body of data. In support of this goal, a core set of workshop participants from a variety of disciplines has been explicitly invited to participate.

The workshop also welcomes other interested parties. If you are interested in contributing and participating, please send an e-mail to the workshop organizers by 7 September 2009.


André van der Hoek, University of California, Irvine (USA)
Marian Petre, Open University (UK)
Alex Baker, University of California, Irvine (USA)

U.S. National Science Foundation


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Call for Papers
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