Computing That Serves

Information Needs as Software Engineering Moves from Monolithic Applications to Independent Services


Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 11:00am


Jonathan Sillito


Ken Rodham

Colloquium presented by Jonathan Sillito

Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 11:00 A.M.

Location: 1170 TMCB

While in academia, my research focused on understanding the information needs of software professionals with the long term goal of improving tool support for developers. To this end, my students and I have conducted research projects to explore information needs in various contexts. In this talk I will discuss the results of three of these projects: (1) asking and answering questions during a programming change task, (2) information needs and tool support for bug tracking, and (3) information needs for release management. As hoped, all three of these projects have been applicable as I moved from academia to take an industry position, but modern architectural and tooling trends, are significantly changing many aspects of the activities discussed in those three projects. With these trends in mind, I will close my talk by discussing how I’ve continued these research directions while in industry and future research I would like to pursue.


Jonathan Sillito is currently an R&D manager at Amazon in Seattle. Until 2014 Jonathan Sillito was a tenured, Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. He has a PhD from the University of British Columbia and an MSc and BSc from the University of Alberta. Jonathan's primary research contributions are in the area of software engineering, with a particular focus on the human and cooperative aspects of software engineering. These contributions stem from empirical studies of program comprehension, source code search, the social aspects of issue tracking, source control branch management, and modularity. The results of these studies have been published in top venues, including FSE, TSE, CSCW and ICSE.