Software Engineering Nederland

New model for suggesting news about VERSEN

From now on, we will adopt a collaborative model in which every VERSEN member can suggest any news to be included in the next round of the newsletter.  Every member can simply suggest news items to be shared to the community via the public form available here: The form is extremely simple and contains information like title, category, main text of the suggested news, so bookmark the form and  feel free to add any items you deem relevant to be shared to the community! 

For any feedback/discussion about this new model for our newsletter, feel free to contact Ivano Malavolta, who is in charge of managing the VERSEN newsletter. 

From the VERSEN board

The last half year, the VERSEN board has met several times (face-to-face and via Skype) to discuss future VERSEN activities.
First of all, we are happy to announce that during ICT Open 2019 there will be another VERSEN track. Eelco Visser (Delft) and Marieke Huisman (Twente) will be chairing the track, and you can contact them if you have suggestions for excellent speakers to invite. Moreover, Paris Avgeriou (Groningen) and Slinger Jansen (Utrecht) succesfully proposed to organise a VERSEN track during LAC 2018. On February 2, 2019 there will be another SEN symposium. Anna-Lena Lamprecht (Utrecht) , Sung-Shik Jungmans (Open University), and Georgios Gousios (Delft) will be organising this event. 

The VERSEN board has also decided to establish awards for best PhD and Master theses. A call for nominations will be distributed shortly.

We have also put some effort in re-arranging the VERSEN webpages. There are still a few points that need further improvement, but have a look, and let us know what you think.

Finally, the VERSEN board members will meet on October 5 to discuss a future strategy for software engineering research in the Netherlands.

On behalf of the VERSEN board members,
Marieke Huisman (chair)

VERSEN @ NWO Special Interest Group

On May 24th,  2018, Patricia Lago (VU) represented VERSEN at the yearly gathering of the NWO Research Software Special Interest Group, which gathers software engineers collaborating with researchers to understand the challenges they face, and then develop research software to provide the answers (cf. 
The members work at the various NWO institutes. During the yearly gathering, each member presents the challenges they are facing and/or possible related (partial) solutions. 
During the meeting, natural synergies between the SIG and VERSEN researchers have been discussed. Among them: how to handle software architecture? how to plan for the unknown? how to join forces to elicit reusable software knowledge? The slides of the meeting are available online. Questions? Send an email to: 

VERSEN Day at the National Architecture Conference (LAC)

Save the date! On the 15th and 16th of November 2018 VERSEN will organize a day program at the National Architecture Conference (LAC). If you are willing to speak at this forum, please contact or Further details (speakers and such) will be announced at a later date.

Jan Friso Groote on the ICT Problem in the Government

Prof. Jan Friso Groote wrote a note about the software issue at the Tax Authorities. The final question of the note is whether the tax authorities, and more generally the government, have software under proper control. If we continue to ignore it, in 50 years we will celebrate the centenary of software problems at the government! 

The full note is available here.

ERC Advanced Grant for Joost-Pieter Katoen

The self-driving car will rely on it for its driving behaviour, the autonomous robot can’t do without. ‘Probabilistic’ computer programmes are getting more and more important in artificial intelligence. This type of software deals with many uncertainties and real-world data. Is it possible to verify correct operations, given this level of uncertainty? Joost-Pieter Katoen, Professor at the RWTH Aachen and the University of Twente, proposes a new approach, and he receives an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) for this. More information about the project are available here.

VIDI award for Jasmin Blanchette (VU)

Jasmin Blanchette, assistant professor in the Theoretical Computer Science section of the VU won the VIDI grant through its proposal called "Lean Forward: Usable Computer-Checked Proofs and Computations for Number Theorists". Jasmin Blanchette's research will focus on developing software that helps researchers and practitioners with correct proofs. Congratulations Jasmin!

Jorge Perez (Groningen) wins NWO VIDI and TOP grants

Jorge Perez, assistant professor in the Computer Science department of the University of Groningen wins NWO VIDI and TOP grants. Congratulations jorge!

The VIDI grant is titled "Unifying Correctness for Communicating Software" and focuses on discovering and validating in practice the fundamental connections between the different programming techniques that help developers to produce error-free communicating software. The TOP grant is titled "Advanced Structures for Correct Communicating Software" and aims to deliver a rigorous, comprehensive description of how distinct behavioral type systems for concurrency relate to each other. By reconciling their currently disparate foundations into a mature body of knowledge, ACCESS will provide a long-lasting reference for behavioral type systems.

Positive accreditation advice for Open University Master Software Engineering

On June 28 a comittee, chaired by professor Marieke Huisman (UTwente), visited the Open University in order to advice the NVAO about the continuation of the accreditation of their online learning Master in Software Engineering. Other members of the committee were professors Wim Van Petegem (Leuven)  and Joost Visser (Radboud, Software Improvement Group). The student member was Renée Stam (Utrecht Univerisity). The day was filled with presentations, questions, documents and discussions. At the end of the day the chair of the committee announced that their advice was positive in all aspects. The advice  came with lists of positive aspects ('tops') and lists of advices for possible opportunities for improvement ('tips'). This will be of great help for the Open University to keep improving their educational programme upholding the quality as recognised by Computable, granting the OU the 2017 ICT-educator of the year award.

Roberto Verdecchia wins the Best Early Career Researcher Award at ICSA 2018

Roberto Verdecchia, a PhD student of the Software and Services Research Group of the VU won the "Best Early Career Researcher Award" at the IEEE International Conference on Software Architectures (ICSA), which was held in Seattle in April this year. The award was assigned thanks to the  paper "Architectural Technical Debt Identification: Moving Forward", authored by Roberto as single author and available here. Roberto is doing his PhD under the supervision of prof. Patricia Lago and dr. Ivano Malavolta.

The S2 Research Group of the VU wins the Runner-Up Best Paper Award at the ICT4S conference

The Software and Services Research Group of the VU was awarded with the ‘Runner-Up Best Paper Award’ at the 5th International Conference on ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S 2018), which was held in Toronto in May 2018.
The award was given for the paper ‘Empirical Evaluation of the Energy Impact of Refactoring Code Smells’, which is available here.

VerifyThis Silver Award for Wytse Oortwijn and Mohsen Safari

Wytse Oortwijn and Mohsen Safari, PhD students of Marieke Huisman in Twente, won the VerifyThis Student Team - Silver Award. VerifyThis is a program verification competition, held as part of the ETAPS Conference in Thessaloniki in April 2018.