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Quality Aspects in Agile Methods

Foreword by the Chairs


There is no doubt that agile methods have become mainstream and with their increased use unanswered questions start to appear: How do we address cross-cutting concerns when software is developed vertically? Does value prioritization lead to increases in technical debt by promoting feature development over refactoring? Isn’t the reticence to write initial specifications on the premise of change an invitation to unnecessary change? As agile development matures answers, albeit partial, responses start to appear. The recurring themes in this year presentations are not whether agile is good or bad, better or worse, but rather on how we answer some of these questions.

The Quality Aspects in Agile Methods Thematic Track 2016 includes in its final program four accepted full papers, which consider the topics of: release planning, business agility and quality, security and acceptance testing.

The first paper, Test Driven Development of Web Applications: a Lightweight Approach by Diego Clerissi et al present a method and toolset for the early generation of automated acceptance test cases for websites. In their proposal acceptance test cases are not something that is executed at the end to verify the functionality built but rather to guide the development process. Clerissi et al’s approach to automating acceptance test cases is based on screen mocking-up, a capture-recapture mechanism and an evolution loop, that extend and improves the test suite all of these critical to the implementation of Acceptance Test Driven Development.

In the second paper, Towards a Secure Agile Software Development Process, Hassan Adelyar and Alex Norta, discuss through four cases the implications of applying security principles to extreme programming concluding that their full application might result on the collapse of the development process.

The third paper, Being Business Agile Focusing on Flow Efficiency: Tale of a Practitioner’s approach by Gaetano Lombardi takes the reader through the journey of linking agile development practices to the largest business context in which they are embedded. Not surprisingly, the trip is not without perils.

The fourth paper, Agility and Quality Attributes in Open Source Software Projects Release Practices by Antonio Cesar Gomes da Silva et al is an indicator of the maturity achieved by agile development as it shows, not how agile practices are influenced by other praxis but how agile can inform other contexts.

In summary, the four papers selected for this track offer answers, some more specific, some more general to the problems encountered in the field by practitioners and researches that wander off the happy path. 

A native of Argentina, Eduardo Miranda has an extensive industry experience as a software developer, project leader, and manager. Before joining CMU he worked for companies such as Ericsson (1996 - 2005) and Lockheed Martin (1991 - 1996) and taught courses as an adjunct professor at universities in Argentina and Canada, where he lived for nearly 20 years. In 2014 Eduardo received the Master of Software Engineering Coach Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentorship.

Eduardo is the author of “Running the Hi-Tech Project Office”, a handbook for setting-up project management offices based on his experience in this area while at Ericsson and has contributed a chapter to the book “Introduction to Combinatorial Testing”. He has authored numerous articles on the use of Petri Nets in software development, requirements analysis, release planning, the use of reliability growth models in project management, estimation techniques, and the calculation of contingency funds for projects.

Eduardo has a Bachelor of Science in Systems Analysis from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, a Master of Engineering from the University of Ottawa, Canada, a Master Of Science in Project Management from the University of Linköping, Sweden and a PhD in Software Engineering from the École de Technologie Supérieure - Université du Québec.

Further information can be found in http://mse.isri.cmu.edu/software-engineering/faculty-new/miranda-eduardo.html

João Miguel Fernandes

João Miguel Fernandes received the 5-year degree of Systems and Informatics Engineering, in 1991, the M.Sc. Degree of Informatics (Computer Science), in 1994, both at the UMinho (Braga, Portugal). On May 2000, he has completed his Ph.D. thesis in Informatics/Computer Engineering, School of Engineering, UMinho. The thesis is entitled "An Object-Oriented Methodology for Embedded Systems Development".
He is full professor on software engineering at the Dep. Informatics, UMinho. He has been an invited researcher at UBristol (United Kingdom), within the research group of Prof. Erik Dagless, during 6 months, in 1991. In 2002-03, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Embedded Systems Laboratory, TUCS (Turku Centre for Computer Science), in Turku, Finland, leaded by Prof. Johan Lilius. In 2006-07, he was an invited assistant professor at Aarhus University, Denmark, where he collaborated with the CPN group leaded by Prof. Kurt Jensen. In 2013, he was an invited professor at UFSC (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina) in Florianópolis, Brazil, where he has collaborated with Prof. Leandro B. Becker and Prof. Christiane Gresse von Wangenheim.

He is the author/editor of more than 100 scientific publications with peer revision on international conferences, journals and chapters of books. He is co-editor of the book "Behavioral Modeling for Embedded Systems and Technologies: Applications for Design and Implementation" (IGI Global, 2009). He is member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Information Technology Research (ISSN 1938-7857), IGI Publishing, since Jun/2007. Additionally, he has already served as a scientific reviewer for an Adisson-Wesley book, for scientific journals and for many symposia. He also regularly serves as a member of the Programme Committees of international conferences and workshops, namely BM-MDA, CPN, CSE, DIPES, DSOA, ETFA, ENC, ENICS, IESS, ICESS, ICSEA, JISBD, MOMPES, PETRI NETS, QUATIC, REC, SBSI, SIES, TeaConc, UCAmI, WMUPS.

He has been involved in the organization of various international scientific events, including the 3rd Int. Conf. on Application of Concurrency to System Design (ACSD 2003), the 5th IFIP Int. Conf. on Distributed and Parallel Embedded Systems (DIPES 2006), the 3rd International Summer School on Generative and Transformational Techniques in Software Engineering (GTTSE 2009), the 31st International Conference on Application and Theory of Petri Nets and Other Models of Concurrency (PETRI NETS 2010), the 10th International Conference on Application of Concurrency to System Design (ACSD 2010), the 6th International Conference on Software Business (ICSOB 2015), and the Model-based Methodologies for Pervasive and Embedded Software (MOMPES) workshop series.

He conducts his research activities in Software Engineering, with a special interest in the following topics: Software Modeling, Requirements Engineering, Embedded Software, Software Process, History of Computing. Within his research and teaching activities, he has maintained/maintains regular collaborations with the industry, namely with Bang & Olufsen, Blaupunkt, Bosch, CITEVE, Deloitte, Efacec, IDITE-Minho, LibWare, LINCIS, NAV, Oblog Software, OutSystems, Primavera BSS, Qimonda, and StartupBraga.

He was the director of the 5-year degree of Systems and Informatics Engineering and vice-president of the Council of the Engineering degrees at UMinho, during 2004-06. He was also the director of the Master in Informatics Engineering (2010-11).

Track Committee

Chair: Eduardo Miranda, CMU, USA
Co-chair: João M. Fernandes, U.Minho, Portugal

Program Committee:

Ademar Aguiar, U Porto, Portugal
Francisco José Duarte, Bosch, Portugal
Glauco Carneiro, U Salvador, Brazil
Jouni Markkula, U Oulu, Finland
Jürgen Münch, U Reutlingen, Germany & U Helsinki, Finland
Krzysztof Wnuk, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden

Call for papers:

Agile methods have gained popularity due to their ability to cope with unstable requirements throughout the development life cycle. They improve communication amongst developers and customers, and allow one to deliver products in shorter time frames, with more constrained budgets, when compared to traditional development methods. However, the real impact of agility in quality is an open issue. Although agility has earned support from many researchers and practitioners, the evidence provided by those supporters to back up their claims has yet to convince those that are skeptic about the advantages of agility. The ICT systems community would benefit from compelling evidences with respect to the contexts in which agility is a good option (and those where a more traditional approach is more advisable), and to the effects of agility in software quality. We seek contributions that are related to the impact of agility in the quality of ICT systems.

Suggested topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:

  • agile versus traditional quality management
  • agile web development
  • agile software quality assurance activities
  • agile quality trends
  • agile quality improvements
  • agility in the context of complex/long-lived ICT systems
  • empirical evaluation on evidence concerning the effect of agility in quality
  • evaluation of the quality assurance activities and practices in the context of agile methods
  • evidence and “reports from the trenches” concerning the Agile Manifesto and its impact on ICT systems quality
  • quality metrics for agile project management
  • tools for agile methods

Submission process:

Authors should submit to http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=quatic2016 a PDF version of their paper. Full Papers must be in CPS format and not exceed 6 pages, including figures, references, and appendices. Work In Progress (WIP) works with relevant preliminary results are limited to 3 pages. Submissions must be original and will be reviewed by the Track Program Committee. Accepted papers will be included in the electronic proceedings of QUATIC’2016 published by Conference Publishing Services (CPS),  submitted for archiving in Xplore and CSDL, and submitted for indexing in ISI Web of Science, SCOPUS, ACM Portal, DBLP and DOI System, subject to one of the authors registering for the conference. The authors of the best papers of this thematic track will be invited to submit extended versions to the main track of the conference.

Important dates:

  • Paper submission: Sunday, April 17, May 15, 2016
  • Author's notifications: Sunday, May 15, June 12, 2016
  • Camera ready submission: Sunday, June 19, June 26, 2016

Previous Edition:

See details of the QUATIC 2014 edition of this track.
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