Computer Science Professor and Associate VP Research & International pro tem
University of British Columbia
Abstract: Software systems are sometimes referred to as the most complex artifacts ever engineered. To help create these systems, software engineers use many tools, such as compilers and debuggers. The vast majority of these tools have been designed from an artifact-centric perspective; for instance, a compiler takes one representation of a program and changes it into another representation. In this talk, I will argue that a human-centric approach to designing software development tools is essential to accelerate our ability to build complex software systems with desired qualities. A human-centric approach involves a focus on how humans work with computational structures and with each other. I will describe how we take this approach in my research group from studies of how software engineers work through to the development of tools and the subsequent study of those tools in the wild world of software development. I will use as an example, the science behind the Eclipse Mylyn tool developed in my research group; Mylyn is downloaded millions of times per month and has formed the basis for a start-up enterprise software development company called Tasktop Technologies.
Biography: Gail C. Murphy is a Professor of Computer Science and Associate Vice President Research and International pro tem at UBC. She is also a co-founder and Chief Scientist at Tasktop Technologies Inc. Her research interests are in improving the productivity of software developers and knowledge workers by giving them tools to identify, manage and co-ordinate the information that really matters for their work. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an ACM Distinguished Scientist and a recipient of such awards as a University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering Alumni Achievement Award, an NSERC E.W.R. Stacie Memorial Fellowship and the AITO Dahl-Nygaard Junior Prize.
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