October 6, 2021

COBOL defects’ paper coauthored by Phase Change scientists wins IEEE distinguished paper award

tsantalis tweet congratulating paper winnersA technical paper co-authored by current and former Phase Change research scientists, and presented at the 2021 annual ICSME event, won a Distinguished Paper Award from the IEEE Computer Society Technical Council on Software Engineering (TCSE).

The paper, "Contemporary COBOL: Developers' Perspectives on Defects and Defect Location," was co-authored by current Phase Change Senior Research Scientist Rahul Pandita, former Senior Research Scientist Aleksander Chakarov, and former intern Agnieszka Ciborowska. It was presented at the 37th annual International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME) 2021 in Luxembourg City, Great Duchy of Luxembourg, September 27 - October 1.

The authors presented results from surveys of COBOL and more modern programming languages regarding defects and defect-location strategies. While the software industry has made substantial advances in maintaining programs written in modern languages, mainframe programs have received limited attention. Meanwhile, mainframe systems face a critical shortage of experienced developers and replacement developers face significant difficulties even during routine maintenance tasks.

pandita tweet announcing awardPandita, who has already co-authored a number of published papers, said that this award is particularly gratifying because all of the authors were working together at Phase Change when it was written, and that he hopes it is just the first of many more like it.

This is the fourth published technical paper co-authored by Phase Change scientists, the third to be presented at scientific conferences, and the second to win a distinguished paper award.

July 20, 2020

Researchers earn distinguished paper award with Phase Change help

July 20, 2020

by Todd Erickson

A team of Oregon State University scientists partnered with Phase Change Research Scientist Rahul Pandita to study how cognitive biases affect software developers' everyday behavior. The resulting academic paper, "A Tale from the Trenches: Cognitive Biases and Software Development," was recently recognized by ICSE 2020 as an ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper.

According to OpenResearch.org and ACM SIGSOFT, only 2% of all ICSE submissions earn Distinguished Paper Awards.

OSU researchers Nicholas Nelson and Anita Sarma enjoying time in Phase Change's offices.

"Bias is an essential tool for human cognition," said Rahul Pandita. "The presence of bias must not be automatically equated to something negative. In fact, some biases are extremely helpful in navigating the complexities of day to day life. The key is to understand how these biases operate. In the case of routine software development activities, such nuanced understanding allows us to develop effective intelligence augmentation (IA) technology to amplify the benefits of such biases and counter the detrimental effects."

The scientists conducted a two-part study from 2017-2018. Part one focused on observing Phase Change developers performing routine development tasks. They observed Phase Change developers at our offices for a week in March 2018.

“Getting to see the 'behind the scene' workings of this agile, innovative team was a great way of understanding how startups work," said Anita Sarma, an Associate Professor at Oregon State.

Part two involved triangulating their findings by interviewing developers from three other companies about how they perceive and deal with the observed biases found in Part One.

Research Scientists Anita Sarma, Nicholas Nelson, Souti Chattopadhyay, and Christopher Sanchez, along with research interns Audrey Au and Natalie Morales, co-wrote the paper with Pandita.

The research results were presented at ICSE 2020, the 42nd annual International Conference on Software Engineering, July 6-11 in Seoul, South Korea, and virtually from June 27-July 19. All of the Distinguished Papers were announced during a July 10 awards ceremony and appeared on other slides shown throughout the conference.

Todd Erickson is a Technology Writer at Phase Change Software. You can reach him at terickson@phasechange.ai.


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