REFSQ, Europe's leading conference on Requirements Engineering (RE), took place for the 25th time from 18-21 March. A central question of the anniversary conference was: Does RE still have the right answers to the challenges of modern development projects?
According to the lively discussions of the 130 participants, requirements engineering is more important than ever to successfully develop good software. However, new methods, competencies and tools are needed that fit in with today's sometimes extremely fast and agile projects. And that's exactly what the various presentations and workshops during the four-day REFSQ were all about.
On the first day, workshops on specific topics were offered, e.g. the use of videos to elicit and validate requirements. In addition, the "Natural Language Processing (NLP) Deep Dive" took place. Here, tool manufacturers faced a challenge in capturing and computer-based processing of natural language.
- A total of 22 contributions were carefully reviewed and selected for the research track on the second and fourth days of the conference. They were organized in topical sections named:
- Automated Analysis
- Making Sense of Requirements
- Tracelink Quality
- Requirements Management (Research Previews)
- From Vision to Specification
- Automated Analysis (Research Previews)
- Requirements Monitoring
- Open Source
- Managing Requirements Knowledge at a Large Scale
- in Situ/Walkthroughs (research previews).
The published proceedings are available here: Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality. 25th International Working Conference, REFSQ 2019, Essen, Germany, March 18–21, 2019, Proceedings
At the Industry Track on Wednesday, experts from various industries reported on requirements management in their companies. For example Robert Karban from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In his keynote speech, he dealt with requirements analysis and verification in the development of the gigantic 30-meter telescope currently being set up in Hawaii.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the REFSQ, three top-class speakers could be won, who shared interesting thoughts.
Prof. Dr. Anthony Finkelstein spoke in his lecture "Speaking Truth to Power" about his role as scientific advisor to the British government. He explained how to build effective research programs and how software engineering should be used to solve the complex problems of our time.
Dr. Peter Peters, Partner at McKinsey & Company, reported from his experience as a consultant that requirements management in many companies has developed into an iterative, collaborative and therefore often implicit process. This is primarily due to the agile methods which, in his opinion, overrun the RE like a wave. Peters showed what effects this development has on the quality and management of requirements.
Prof. Dr. Kevin T. Ryan highlighted the role of RE from the 1960s to the present day. He made it clear that in complex and software-dependent societies RE is more necessary than ever before. Especially with the advent of AI technologies, the hard-won findings from almost 30 years of RE research should not be ignored.
Ryan concluded his speech with the words "RE Forever!” A good conclusion for the entire conference.
Further images on https://www.facebook.com/REFSQ/