CSC News

June 17, 2016

Williams Earns Best Software Engineering in Practice Paper Award

Congratulations to Dr. Laurie Williams, professor and associate department head of the NC State Computer Science Department, on winning the Best Software Engineering in Practice Paper Award at the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2016) held in Austin, TX, May 14-22, 2016.
The winning paper is titled “Continuous Deployment at Facebook and OANDA” in Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering Companion, pages 21-30.  Co-authors include Tony Savor (Facebook), Mitchell Douglas (Stanford University Department of Computer Science), Michael Gentili (OANDA Corp.), Kent Beck (Facebook), and Michael Stumm (University of Toronto ECE Department).  The abstract follows:
Continuous deployment is the software engineering practice of deploying many small incremental software updates into production, leading to a continuous stream of 10s, 100s, or even 1,000s of deployments per day. High-profile Internet firms such as Amazon, Etsy, Facebook, Flickr, Google, and Neflix have embraced continuous deployment. However, the practice has not been covered in textbooks and no scientific publication has presented an analysis of continuous deployment. In this paper, we describe the continuous deployment practices at two very different firms: Facebook and OANDA. We show that continuous deployment does not inhibit productivity or quality even in the face of substantial engineering team and code size growth. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show it is possible to scale the size of an engineering team by 20X and the size of the code base by 50X without negatively impacting developer productivity or software quality. Our experience suggests that top-level management support of continuous deployment is necessary, and that given a choice, developers prefer faster deployment. We identify elements we feel make continuous deployment viable and present observations from operating in a continuous deployment environment.
To read the award-winning paper, click here.

The International Conference Software Engineering (ICSE) is the premier conference in software engineering sponsored by ACM and IEEE CS. 
The conference provides a forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, experiences, and concerns in the field of software engineering.

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