SEMAT initiative, a new hope for software engineering?

Reading Time: 2 minutes During the SEAFOOD conference I attended in June we had a Keynote from Ivar Jacobson where he

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Semat initiative seeks to develop a rigorous, theoretically sound basis for software engineering practice, and its wide adoption by industry and academia. 

During the SEAFOOD conference I attended in June we had a Keynote from Ivar Jacobson where he presented the SEMAT initiative that he is leading with Bertrand Meyer and Richard Soley. I have to include some texts to present SEMAT:

Semat seeks to develop a rigorous, theoretically sound basis for software engineering practice, and its wide adoption by industry and academia. The SEMAT Call for Action states: “Software engineering is gravely hampered today by immature practices. Specific problems include:

• The prevalence of fads more typical of fashion industry than of an engineering discipline.
• The lack of a sound, widely accepted theoretical basis.
• The huge number of methods and method variants, with differences little understood and artificially magnified.
• The lack of credible experimental evaluation and validation.
• The split between industry practice and academic research.
We support a process to refound software engineering based on a solid theory, proven principles and best practices that:
• Include a kernel of widely-agreed elements, extensible for specific uses
• Addresses both technology and people issues
• Are supported by industry, academia, researchers and users
• Support extension in the face of changing requirements and technology”

It’s hard not to agree with the above. However, some important people in the international software engineering community such as Alistair Cockburn believe that this initiative is flawed. For now, I invite you to take a look at the SEMAT site. I’ll come back soon with my comments.

Initially, I find this initiative very promising and I believe that the fact that the goal they are trying to achieve is extremely hard shouldn’t prevent us from giving it a try.

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