The Impact of Software Architecture Research on Industry

The Joint 10th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture & 6th European Conference on Software Architecture (WICSA/ECSA 2012) was held this week in Helsinki, Finland. Along with keynote addresses and research presentations, the conference included a panel discussion of the impact of software architecture research on software architecture practice. The panel included practicing software architects who are also involved in research and a professor who collaborates extensively with the software industry. In that panel, multiple speakers agreed on a few points:

  • Less silo-oriented research: architects need to deal with problems that require cross-discipline expertise, so one-dimensional, specialized research does not help them much.
  • Architects need more domain-specific research to use in practice, not simply general knowledge.
  • The research community should focus less on low-hanging fruit and more on long-term problems.

Lastly, most of the speakers raised the issue of transferring research to practice, but differed on ways of solving or even formulating the problem. They also raised the issue of a researcher’s need to publish, which practitioners don’t care about, as opposed to an architect’s need to create products for customers. Regarding that point, they raised the issue but had little else to say about it.

The slides for these talks can be found at: http://www.wicsa.net/.

George Edwards

Dr. George Edwards has more than a decade of experience as a scientist, engineer, and technical consultant to academic research labs, government agencies, and technology companies, and he has served as a software expert in various litigation contexts, including several patent infringement suits.

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