Studying Professional Software Design

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

Submissions to this workshop will focus on an analysis of three videos, each capturing a design session involving a pair of professional software designers at work. The six software designers, on average, have 19 years of experience developing software, and each is considered among the top designers in their respective company. Each of the three companies where they work has developed major software systems used worldwide, with the designers playing key roles in the design of these systems.

Each pair of designers was given an hour and fifty minutes to work on the provided design problem, and was asked to create a high-level design of the system. The prompt that was provided, which describes the problem to be solved and the exact instructions given to the designers, is provided here. Note that the participants were given no additional instructions, other than to use the whiteboard for any writing or drawing that they wished to perform.

Acquiring the Videos

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please send a request to and we will provide instructions on downloading the videos, as well as transcripts of the spoken text from the videos. Alternately, we can mail a DVD containing the videos and transcripts to you.

Please note that use of the videos is restricted in several ways, and recipients will be asked to read and sign the following usage agreement.

Please feel free to email the organizers with any additional questions about the design sessions, videos or research process in general.


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Call for Papers
Submission Details
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