1st International Workshop on the Body of Knowledge for Software Sustainability (BoKSS’21)

  • Co-located with ICSE 2021 (under submission)
  • Virtual
  • June 1-2, 2021 (two half days, see program below)
  • Registratration OPEN
  • Please indicate your intent to participate here

Theme & Goals

With the pervasive role of software and digitalization in all aspects of contemporary society, the topic of sustainability is becoming increasingly important and increasingly urgent for software engineers and software engineering education. But we have a scant foundation of practices, examples, tools, datasets, guidelines etc. upon which to make principled engineering decisions and upon which to build a curriculum. In spite of the active international research community in the field, we lack a strong foundation of significant and reusable results upon which to build tangible progress that helps contribute to the target sustainability goals.

The goal of BoKSS 2021 is to create such a knowledge base. We seek to create a knowledge base of actionable results that will transform sustainable software engineering practices from a novel research area into a robust, repeatable, teachable practice area within software engineering.

In addition to the knowledge base mentioned above, the envisaged workshop outcomes include forming a concrete work-force that will create (i) an online platform to share the knowledge base, and (ii) a scientific report targeting journal publication which will present the Body of Knowledge for Sustainability in Software Engineering (BoKSS) as a unified theory. Depending on the number of participants and their contributions, we can imagine more than one report resulting from this workshop.

Topics of Interest

BoKSS 2021 seeks contributions addressing, but not limited to, the following topics related to sustainable software and software for sustainability:

  • Practices for software sustainability
  • Metrics and measures for software sustainability
  • Applied, or experimented with, software engineering methodologies at all levels (from requirements elicitation to architecture design, coding, testing)
  • Patterns and anti-patterns
  • Architectural tactics, architectural styles and design patterns


We are happy to host the following keynote talk.

Pierre Bourque - ing., Ph.D.

Lessons Learned from Building and Gaining Consensus on the SWEBOK Guide - The proof of concept document of the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK) was made available in 1998—now more than 20 years ago. The speaker has played a key role in all published versions, as lead author of the proof of concept document or Straw Man version, co-editor of the Trial Version published in 2001 and of the 2004 version, and lead editor of SWEBOK Version 3.0 published in 2014. Based on the speaker’s experience in this initiative and some reflections on the actual impact of the SWEBOK Guide, this keynote presentation will convey some of the lessons learned and challenges of building, updating and gaining consensus on a body of knowledge. The speaker will notably address the importance of defining the scope, objectives, and intended audiences, obtaining funding, using an open process, building partnerships with sponsors, professional societies and standardization organizations, assuring wide availability and following an iterative approach.

Short Bio - Pierre Bourque is a faculty member since 2000 in the Department of Software and IT Engineering of the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) of the Université du Québec in Canada. He recently completed a sabbatical (2019-2020) in industry after being Dean of Studies at ÉTS (2013-2019). He is also lead editor of the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK) V3 published in 2014 and was co-editor of the 2001 and 2004 versions. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland). He is the 2020 recipient of the Nancy Mead Award for Excellence in Software Engineering.

List of Accepted Papers

  • Stephan Druskat, Daniel S. Katz and Ilian T. Todorov. Research Software Sustainability and Citation (PDF, Video, Slides)
  • Birgit Penzenstadler, Stefanie Betz, Letícia Duboc, Norbert Seyff, Ian Brooks, Jari Porras, Shola Oyedeji and Colin C. Venters. Iterative Sustainability Impact Assessment: When to propose? (PDF, Video, Slides)
  • Shanshan Jiang, Kine Jakobsen, Letizia Jaccheri and Jingyue Li. Blockchain and Sustainability: A Tertiary Study (PDF, Video, Slides)
  • Colin C. Venters, Sedef Akinli Kocak, Stefanie Betz, Ian Brooks, Rafa Capilla Sevilla, Ruzanna Chitchyan, Letícia Duboc, Rogardt Heldal, Ana Moreira, Shola Oyedeji, Birgit Penzenstadler, Jari Porras and Norbert Seyff. Software Sustainability: Beyond the Tower of Babel (PDF, Video, Slides)
  • Daniel S. Katz, Jeffrey Carver, Neil Chue Hong, Sandra Gesing, Simon Hettrick, Tom Honeyman, Karthik Ram and Nicholas Weber. Addressing Research Software Sustainability via Institutes (PDF, Video, Slides)
  • Orges Cico, Letizia Jaccheri and Anh Nguyen-Duc. Software Sustainability in Customer-Driven Courses (PDF, Video, Slides)
  • Jeffrey Carver, Ian Cosden, Chris Hill, Sandra Gesing and Daniel S. Katz. Sustaining Research Software via Research Software Engineers and Professional Associations (PDF, Video, Slides)
  • Keith Beattie and Daniel Gunter. Strategies for working with protected data in an open-source collaborative scientific software project (PDF, Video, Slides)
  • Armin Beer, Michael Felderer, Tobias Lorey and Stefan Mohacsi. Aspects of sustainable test processes (PDF, Video, Slides)
  • Norbert Seyff, Birgit Penzenstadler, Stefanie Betz, Ian Brooks, Shola Oyedeji, Jari Porras, Leticia Duboc, Sedef Akinli Kocak and Colin C. Venters. The Elephant in the Room – Educating Practitioners on Software Development for Sustainability (PDF, Video, Slides)

Workshop Program

Before the workshop days, we will setup a Slack Channel for all registered participants. We will use it to kickstart the working groups to build the BoKSS and plan for joint papers. The workshop itself is organized in two half-days, each opening and closing with a plenary, with in-between independent working groups. More details to come.

DAY 1: 14:00-17:30 CEST

  • 13:45-14:00 Joining us
  • 14:00-14:45 Keynote: Lessons Learned from Building and Gaining Consensus on the SWEBOK Guide (Pierre Bourque)
  • 14:45-14:55 Break
  • 14:55-15:40 The Vision of a BoKSS (P. Lago, R. Kazman) and Discussion
  • 15:45-15:55 Switch to own working group
  • 15:55-17:00 independent work (parallel session 1)
  • 17:00-17:30 Wrapup

DAY 2: 14:00-17:30 CEST

  • 14:00-14:15 Kickstart - 15 minutes
  • 14:15-15:00 independent work (parallel session 2)
  • 15:00-15:15 Break
  • 15:15-16:30 independent work (parallel session 3)
  • 16:30-17:30 Wrapup and Future work

Submission Guidelines

Prospective participants are invited to submit two types of contributions:

  • Full papers (max 8 pages) will describe concrete contributions to the BoKSS. They will be structured as follows: — A description of the sustainability problem you address. — A description of the SE solution you propose. – A discussion of how results are measurable (e.g., KPIs). – A presentation of the evidence of contribution to sustainability, ideally including real world experiences. – A discussion of the costs and benefits of your approach. – A presentation of the transferable artifacts you are contributing e.g., replication package, code, examples, documentation, educational materials, case studies.

  • Extended abstracts (max 2 pages) will describe a motivating challenge problem that has ideally emerged from practice. They will be structured as follows: – The context. – The challenge problem. – The current solution/s (if present) and their strengths and weaknesses.

Workshop papers must follow the ICSE 2021 Format and Submission Guideline, but will use a single blind submission process. All submitted papers will be reviewed on the basis of technical quality, relevance, significance, and clarity by the program committee. All workshop papers should be submitted electronically in PDF format through the EasyChair workshop website. Accepted papers will become part of the workshop proceedings.

Important Dates

  • Workshop paper submissions due [EXTENDED]: Tue 19 January, 2021 (AoE time)
  • Notification to authors: Mon 22 February, 2021 (AoE time)
  • Camera-ready copies due: Fri 12 March, 2021 (AoE time)

Organizing Committee

Workshop Organisers:

Virtualization Chair:

Program Committee

  • Marco Aiello (U of Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Vasilios Andrikopoulos (U Groningen, Netherlands)
  • Rajkumar Buyya (U Melbourne, AUS)
  • Coral Calero (U of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)
  • Fernando Castor (Federal U of Pernambuco, Brazil)
  • Alcides Fonseca (U of Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Lidia Fuentes (U Malaga, Spain)
  • Danny Greefhorst (ArchiXL, Netherlands)
  • Serge Haziyev (SoftServe, USA)
  • Abram Hindle (U of Alberta, CA)
  • Grace Lewis (SEI at CMU, USA)
  • Ivano Malavolta (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Claudia Melo (U of Brasilia, Brazil)
  • Hausi Mueller (U of Victoria, CA)
  • Olivier Philippot (Greenspector, France)
  • Giuseppe Procaccianti (Vandebron, Netherlands)
  • Antony Tang (Swinburne U of Technology, AUS)
  • Colin Venters (U of Huddersfield, UK)
  • John Whittle (Monash U, AUS)

Call for Papers

Call for Papers (PDF)