Imagine you are invited to a party. The host is software engineering researcher, your companion is software engineering researcher, the other guests are software engineering researchers, all of the catering staff are software engineering researchers.

The conversations are about funding, collaborations with industry, lazy students, and the food is pathetic. So you want the party to be over as soon as possible or leave without anybody noticing. What do you do?

Here is my list of questions for parties or other gatherings of software engineering researchers you want to spice up, shorten, end, or crash.

  • What is the difference…

Modern software development (be it classical or agile) lacks of scaling. Several approaches like Scrum of scrum, SAFe, LeSS, etc. tried to overcome this issue — and I would argue they failed.

However, scaling large systems is not a unique challenge for software engineering. And even within the computer science community, other disciplines have solved the issues we are still struggling with.

So let’s start with super computers. Super computers are super cool. Software development (not super cool) will follow later.

Concurrent systems

Concurrent systems are ubiquitous. They appear in form of multi-core processors or as large scale cluster computers resulting in…


There is arguably no other engineering field so greatly affected by the problem of the not-invented-here syndrome (or its facet reinventing-the-wheel syndrome) like software development. This disease does not only affect the artefacts of software development (meaning code and software components), but also the software development process itself.

While we start using open source components instead of rewriting yet another message-passing component or ORM framework, we are constantly reinventing the wheel of software development practices instead of re-using established practices from open source.

We came up with Scrum, XP, and many more. And then — because none of them…


First of all: sorry for the clickbait title.

Recently I discussed with a professor (not my supervisor) about UML. I said I assess my UML knowledge as sufficient but not as deep. He answered my assessment:

When you are not fluent in UML, you will never work as a software architect in larger systems.

Of course, every professor thinks his research topic is the one and only and every professor can not understand why not every student loves this area, too. However, his condescending answer triggered many thoughts in my mind (although I am not sure if I want to…

Michael Dorner

Software developer and researcher on empirical software engineering.

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