Musings of a Tech Transfer Enthusiast
As the PC Co-Chair for ICSE's Software Engineering in Practice (SEIP) track in 2017, I'm jealous. While the submission policy for the research track of ICSE 2017 has recently been the center of hot debate, SEIP's submission policies have NOT been slandered. To remedy this imbalance, I propose adding the following to SEIP's submission policy:
All researchers who have submitted to a "Visions" track in the past year *must* submit at least one paper to SEIP to help restore balance to the field.
One of the main reasons for this policy is that every year researchers submit more papers to "Visions" tracks, but the pool of qualified researchers doing technology transfer work does not grow in proportion. Allowing the imbalance between the amount of "Visions" being created and the technology being transferred erodes our community's already tenuous relationship with working software engineers. These engineers have recently made comments on research in our field such as: "the tool that would result would not be something I would use or can imagine anyone else using." Perhaps our "Visions" would be better if we spent more time in the field.
Vision without execution is hallucination. -Thomas Edison
A key to breaking this cycle is to recognize that technology transfer work is valuable, and on this point the community has begun to respond. In the past few years SEIP has had an acceptance rate hovering around the low 20s and, more importantly, it has become a legitimate venue for professors interested in impact. For instance, Dr. Shane McIntosh, a tech-transfer-curious assistant professor at McGill, has published at SEIP '14 & '16 with no negative effect on his career. Technology transfer has become tolerated.
Yet tolerance is not enough. We look forward to the day when technology transfer work is seen as a first class member of the ICSE community. We are working hard to bring this vision to fruition, and thus, while this proposed policy won't be popular, we feel these steps must be undertaken to push forward tech transfer in an efficient, fair, and sustainable way.
David Shepherd leverages software engineering research to create useful additions to the IDE.