Software Engineering Nederland

From the VERSEN board

During the last months, we have continued to make people aware of the software manifesto. In particular, a small working group has been created that writes a document about software technology challenges for AI, together with people from the Dutch AI coalition. The software manifesto also has been mentioned in the newsletter of Informatics Europe.

In addition, we will meet the advisory board end of October.

Finally, we are also starting up preparations for our other regular activities. The call for the VERSEN PhD and Master thesis awards will be opened again. We have also started preparations for the SEN symposium, which will take place on February 12, 2021. Nils Jansen (Nijmegen), Helle Hvid Hansen (Groningen) and Ilias Gerostathopoulos (VU) kindly agreed to be this year's organisers. More information about the setup of the event will follow.

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

Awards - Distinguished paper award for study of code review bots

Paper studying the effects of code review bots co-authored by Alexander Serebrenik (Eindhoven) and his Brazilian and American colleagues has been selected to receive an IEEE TCSE Distinguished Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution 2020 (ICSME).

In this paper Mairieli Wessel (University of São Paulo, Brazil), Alexander Serebrenik, Igor Wiese (Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná, Campo Mourão, Brazil), Igor Steinmacher (Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná, Campo Mourão, Brazil and Northern Arizona University, USA), and Marco A. Gerosa (Northern Arizona University, USA) have studied the impact of code review bots on pull requests submitted to open source projects. We employed a regression discontinuity design on 1,194 software projects from GitHub. Our results indicate that the adoption of code review bots increases the number of monthly merged pull requests, decreases monthly non-merged pull requests, and decreases communication among developers. Practitioners and maintainers may leverage our results to understand, or even predict, bot effects on their projects’ social interactions.

Preprint of the paper can be found online:

Awards - MOBILESoft 2020 Best Paper Award for VU researchers

At the 7th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mobile Software Engineering and Systems (MOBILESoft 2020), the Best Paper Award was awarded to the study "Leave my Apps Alone! A Study on how Android Developers Access Installed Apps on User's Device" by Gian Luca Scoccia, Ibrahim Kanj (a VU Master student), Ivano Malavolta (member of the S2 group at the VU), and Kaveh Razavi (former-VU assistant professor).

The paper and replication package are available here:

Awards - Best paper award at SEAA 2020 to RUG researchers

Yikun Li, Mohamed Soliman, and Paris Avgeriou from the University of Groningen won a best paper award at Euromicro SEAA 2020 for their work on “Identification and Remediation of Self-Admitted Technical Debt in Issue Trackers”. The worked investigated to what extent software developers admit technical debt in issue trackers as they do in source code comments (e.g. "to do/fix"). It also studies in detail how developers identify and resolve technical debt in (Jira) issues.



Next events - Call for Papers: Collective Knowledge in Software Engineering

Two VERSEN members, Ivano Malavolta and Alexander Serebrenik are among the co-editors of the upcoming special issue of Empirical Software Engineering on collective knowledge in software engineering.

Knowledge-sharing platforms, such as Stack Overflow, GitHub, Twitter, and Slack, have changed how developers share knowledge and seek information on the web. These platforms store a significant amount of collective knowledge that is contributed by a large and rapidly-evolving group of participants. For instance, Stack Overflow provides a question and answer (Q&A) platform for developers to share programming-related knowledge. As of 2020, more than 12 million developers from around the world have contributed to Stack Overflow. Through such a collective model, Stack Overflow has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge, including more than 19 million questions, 29 million answers, and 74 million comments. As another example, GitHub has accumulated more than 61 million software project repositories that are developed by more than 20 million developers. Developers collectively contribute various types of knowledge such as source code and issue reports that provide rich information to assist future software development. In addition to Stack Overflow and GitHub, developers also commonly share their knowledge on social media and communication platforms, such as Twitter and Slack. This massive amount of collective knowledge could be leveraged to significantly benefit the software engineering community. In fact, many recent studies leverage such collective knowledge (e.g., from Stack Overflow, GitHub, and Twitter) to uncover empirical evidence or develop research techniques to further improve the software development process and quality assurance practice. The empirical findings and techniques have shown great success in addressing various software engineering problems (e.g., code generation, code recommendation, debugging and repair, and API documentation enhancement). Therefore, collective knowledge in software engineering has attracted great attention in the software engineering and other research communities (e.g., data mining and AI).

We invite the submission of high-quality papers describing original and significant work in all areas of collective knowledge in software engineering, including but not limited to:

  • Improving the sharing and management of collective knowledge;
  • Approaches and techniques for knowledge discovery from collective software engineering knowledge; and
  • Leveraging collective knowledge to facilitate software engineering tasks.

Further information about the special issue, evaluation criteria and submission guidelines can be found on

Next events - Software Cost Estimation Challenge

Estimating software development effort is an essential part of getting new or improved software products to its intended end-users.

An effort estimate sets the expectations of the end-users as to when the software will be ready and what it will cost. Multiple sources show that estimating software development effort has a bad track-record, despite over fourty years of research on good software estimating practices.

The IWSM conference is devoted to promoting research and experience on good software estimating practices. To stimulate the use of good estimating practices, the IWSM conference is now challenging estimation practitioners and student teams to show their competence in estimating software development effort.

Further details on the event are available here:

Next events - Farewell Symposium Jos Baeten

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) of the NWO Institute Organisation and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) of the University of Amsterdam organize a symposium on the occasion of the retirement of Jos Baeten as general director of CWI and professor of theory of computing of ILLC on Thursday 1 October 2020.

Due to restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, such as social distancing, space is limited at the venue. In order to comply with these restrictions, only a limited number of attendees are allowed.

However, CWI would like to give everyone the opportunity to 'take part in' this retirement symposium and therefore we are offering a live video stream.
Jos Baeten and CWI are inviting you to join the symposium online via this live stream:

13.40 Opening Wan Fokkink (chair of the day, VUA)
13.45 Jan Friso Groote (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Presentation: Branching bisimulation is the best process equivalence ever
14.15 Sjouke Mauw (University of Luxembourg)
Presentation: Discovering e-passport vulnerabilities using bisimilarity
14.45 Twan Basten (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Presentation: An Algebra for Quality and Resource Management
15.15 break
16.00 Ana Sokolova (University of Salzburg)
Presentation: Algebra for Probability and Nondeterminism
16.30 Jos Baeten (CWI)
Presentation: The computer and me
17.20 Stan Gielen (NWO)
Presentation: How to fulfill an impossible job
17.25 Sonja Smets (ILLC Universiteit van Amsterdam) & presentation of liber
Presentation: From Logic to Computation

More information about the speakers and their presentation, can be found on

For inquiries and further details about the symposium, please contact event coordinator Daniëlle Kollerie ( Interested parties who want to offer Jos a personal handout at the symposium, should contact Daniëlle as well.


New people & guests - Alexander Serebrenik appointed a Full Professor Social Software Engineering

Starting from July 1, 2020 Alexander Serebrenik has been appointed a Full Professor Social Software Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. His research goal is to facilitate evolution of software by taking into account social aspects of software development. His work tends to involve theories and methods both from within computer science (e.g., theory of socio-technical coordination; methods from natural language processing, machine learning) and from outside of computer science (e.g., organisational psychology). The underlying idea of his work is that of empiricism, i.e., that addressing software engineering challenges should be grounded in observation and experimentation, and requires a combination of the social and the technical perspectives. He has won multiple best paper and distinguished reviewer awards, and currently acts as the secretary of VERSEN.

Congrats Alexander!

New people & guests - New Professor in Eindhoven: Michel Chaudron

Michel Chaudron has been appointed a Full Professor in Software Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. Prior to this, he has been a full professor at the Software Engineering division of the joint department of Computer Science and Engineering of Chalmers and Gothenburg University in Sweden.

Prof. Chaudron’s research interests are in the design and modeling of software/system architectures, and in the knowledge sharing that is needed for software development. His research involves both empirical studies as well as tool-building. Recently his research has explored the use of AI and machine learning techniques for ‘knowledge mining’ in software development projects. Much of his research is done in collaboration with industry. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed papers. He is an active member of several conferences including MODELS, Euromicro-SEAA, ESEM, ICSE.


New people & guests - Vadim Zaytsev is a new Associate Professor in Twente

Vadim Zaytsev, also known as grammarware, is appointed as Associate Professor of Software Evolution at the Formal Methods & Tools research group at the University of Twente. He started in July 2020.

Vadim is getting back to academia after spending several years developing compilers and software migration tools in the industry, analysing and transforming porftolios full of code in languages like COBOL, PL/I, HLASM and many 4GLs, as well as acting as a Chief Science Officer at Raincode Labs, encouraging industry-academic collaboration in various forms, from sponsoring conferences to running joint projects with Belgian universities. In the past, he has worked at CWI (the SWAT team), UvA, VU, etc. In the future, he is looking forward to teaching software evolution and software modelling related courses and continuing his research activities about grammarware, software language engineering, evolution of legacy systems, artefact transformation and differencing, compiler testing, and language design. He has been a member of VERSEN since its first day.


Projects - New Erasmus Mundus Joint Master on Software Engineering for the Green Deal (SE4GreenDeal)

The Software and Sustainability Research Group of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has been awarded a new Erasmus Mundus Joint Master on "Software Engineering for the Green Deal (SE4GreenDeal)".

The Master is a joint program with Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland) and the University of L'Aquila (Italy). It will prepare the next generation software professionals to create and manage software solutions that address sustainability goals by design. The program will start in academic year 2021/2022.

PhD defences - Tukaram Muske defended his thesis on postprocessing static analysis alarms

Tukaram Muske has successfully defended a PhD thesis on postprocessing static analysis alarms.


Static analysis, which detects errors in the source code without actually running it, is an important automated program analysis technique to find common programming errors and report on points of interest that could be errors.
Considering the effectiveness and usefulness of static analysis, a wide range of static analysis tools have been developed. However, these tools are known to generate a large number of false alarms. Tukaram Muske has developed alarm postprocessing techniques that significantly reduce the time and effort needed to inspect those alarms manually.
Reducing the number of static analysis alarms is an important challenge that academia and industry are both working on. Reporting fewer alarms by suppressing a subset of alarms is dangerous, because it can lead to missing critical errors. Muske addresses the problem of large numbers of alarms by processing the alarms after they are generated: postprocessing.
The postprocessing techniques designed by Muske work regardless of the static analysis tool in use, and manage to reduce the number of alarms by up to 36% and the time required to automatically eliminate false positives by up to 60%. This could prove an important time and cost savings and enable faster and more accurate response to software errors.

Tukaram Muske has conducted his research at the Tata Research Development and Design Center (Pune, India). He has been supervised by Alexander Serebrenik and Mark van den Brand (Eindhoven University of Technology). The PhD thesis can be found online:

Research of Tukaram Muske in AG Connect

The PhD research of Tukaram Muske (Eindhoven) is featured in AG Connect: Nieuwe wegen door het oerwoud van statische code analyse-alarmen (article by Eveline Meijer).

The article is in Dutch and the full text is only available to subscribers, here it is: 

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