Live from REFSQ’09 Begins

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This week I’m at the International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ’09) and the Conference on Advanced Information Systems (CAiSE’09) in Amsterdam. The first two days are at REFSQ where there are just over 30 experts in requirements engineering in attendance, primarily from academia and a combination of Europe, USA, and Canada. It’s been great fun to catch up, share ideas, and find new collaboration opportunities with colleagues in the field. And after a few years of attending conferences with many of the same people, it’s really quite fun to develop a community of friendly people who I look forward to seeing at each conference.

I’m actually here to present a paper I co-wrote with James Hulgan, also from ArgonDigital titled Experiences with a Requirements Object Model (our ROM) – more on that a bit later. And as always in my “Live from…” posts, I’ll post a few summaries of talks or inspiring ideas that come up this week.

The format of the REFSQ workshop is really one of my favorites. Only about a third of the workshop is spent listening to presentations, with the rest focused on discussions inspired by those presentations (or other random stories). For each talk, there is a template for the last slide that everyone follows, including:

  • Which quality features are addressed by the paper?
  • What is the main novelty/contribution of the paper?
  • How will this novelty/contribution improve RE practice or RE research?
  • What are the main problems with the novelty/ contribution and/or with the paper?
  • Can the proposed approach be expected to scale to real-life problems?

Then they have a discussant assigned to each paper who also read the paper, and this person presents answers to these same questions from their point of view about the paper. And this leads us into the Q&A or discussions.

As a side note: In case you don’t know how to say REFSQ, it rhymes with “rescue”. In fact, every time I hear it said here, I think they are saying “rescue” instead of “refsq” and perhaps this is a sign of what we are doing here!

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