TechDebt 2019
Sat 25 - Fri 31 May 2019 Montreal, QC, Canada
co-located with ICSE 2019

Technical debt describes a universal software development phenomenon: design or implementation constructs that are expedient in the short term but set up a technical context that can make future changes more costly or impossible. Software developers and managers increasingly use the concept to communicate key tradeoffs related to release and quality issues. The goal of this two-day conference is to bring together leading software researchers, practitioners, and tool vendors to explore theoretical and practical techniques that manage technical debt.

The Managing Technical Debt workshop series has provided a forum since 2010 for practitioners and researchers to discuss issues related to technical debt and share emerging practices used in software-development organizations. A week-long Dagstuhl Seminar on Managing Technical Debt in Software Engineering has produced a consensus definition for technical debt, a draft conceptual model, and a research roadmap.

To accelerate progress, an expanded two-day working conference format has become essential. The second edition of the TechDebt Conference will be held jointly with ICSE 2019 in Montreal, Canada, May 26–27, 2019. The conference is sponsored by ACM SIGSOFT and IEEE TCSE.

Call for Papers

The Second International Conference on Technical Debt will be held in Montréal, Canada, on May 26–27, 2019, collocated with ICSE 2019.

Technical debt is a metaphor that software developers and managers increasingly use to communicate key trade-offs between time to market and quality issues.

While other software engineering disciplines—such as software sustainability, maintenance and evolution, refactoring, software quality, and empirical software engineering—have produced results relevant to managing technical debt, none of them alone suffice to model, manage, and communicate the different facets of the design trade-off problems involved in managing technical debt. Similarly, while many software engineering practices can be used to get ahead of technical debt, organizations struggle with managing technical debt routinely and strategically.

TechDebt 2019 aims to bring together leading software engineering researchers and practitioners to explore theoretical and practical techniques for managing technical debt and to share experiences, challenges, and best practices.

The conference addresses all topics related to technical debt, including

  • analysis and measurement of technical debt
  • techniques and tools for calculating technical debt principal and interest
  • understanding causes and effects of technical debt
  • visualization of technical debt
  • economic models for describing or reasoning about technical debt
  • the business case for technical debt management
  • relationship of technical debt to software evolution, maintenance, and aging
  • relationship of technical debt with other activities, such as testing or requirements engineering
  • relationship of technical debt to DevOps
  • relationship of technical debt to quality attributes (especially run-time)
  • technical debt management within software life-cycle management
  • beyond software—technical debt in systems engineering
  • technical debt within software ecosystems and product lines
  • technical debt in design and architecture
  • technical debt in software models
  • concrete practices and tools used to manage technical debt
  • education related to technical debt

We invite submissions of papers in any areas related to the theme and goal of the conference in the following three categories:

  • Research Papers: describing innovative and significant original research in the field (up to 10 pages)
  • Experience Papers: describing industrial experience, case studies, challenges, problems, and solutions (up to 10 pages)
  • Short Papers: position and future trend papers describing ongoing research or new results (up to 5 pages)

Submissions must be original and unpublished work. Each submitted paper will undergo a rigorous review process by three members of the program committee. Submissions must be submitted online via the TechDebtConf2019 EasyChair conference management system and conform to the ICSE formatting guidelines.

Accepted papers must be presented in person at the conference by one of the authors. Accepted submissions will be published as part of the ICSE co-located events proceedings. Excellent papers will be considered for a Distinguished Paper Award from ACM SIGSOFT.

Calendar for submission:

  • January 14: Abstract submitted to EasyChair
  • January 21: Full papers entered in EasyChair
  • March 1: Notification of acceptance or rejection
  • March 15: Camera-ready submission of final paper
  • May 26–27: Presentations

The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM or IEEE Digital Libraries. This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of ICSE 2019. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to public work.

The purchase of additional pages in the proceedings is not allowed.

TechDebt 2019 is the Second International Conference on Technical Debt. It brings together leading researchers and industry practitioners in this growing field. Tools plays a critical role in understanding the management, monitoring, and calculations of technical debt in real-world situations. We invite organizations and individuals to showcase new techniques, methods, and tools that can aid practitioners and decision makers in these critical tasks to participate at TechDebt 2019, to be held in conjunction with ICSE 2019 in Montréal, Canada.

Submission format

Extended abstract (1–2 pages): All participants wishing to present, demonstrate, or discuss in the tools forum should submit an extended abstract. Abstracts are due January 14, 2019, via EasyChair. Although extended abstracts are not peer reviewed, abstracts will be screened to ensure they meet the expectations of the tools track and are aligned with the overarching technical debt theme of the conference. In the abstract we suggest that authors address the purpose of the tool, validation experiences with practitioners (if applicable), and its relevance to technical debt. Note: If a longer experience report is available, please direct those submissions to the main track’s experience-reports category.

In EasyChair, indicate how you will participate in the conference session:

  • Panel participant: In the panel discussion we will engage participants and audience on how the showcased tools help address technical debt challenges.
  • Tool demonstration: If you propose to showcase a product from your company or organization, please let us know your power and space requirements.
  • Poster: A poster should describe a tool, or some aspect consistent with tools of the trade. A poster is encouraged if you would like to participate as a panel participant or with a tool demonstration.

Submissions should be sent via EasyChair and should follow the ICSE formatting guidelines.

Inquiries All inquiries may be directed to neil.ernst@gmail.com or m.bruntink@sig.eu.

Keynote: How to Remove Technical Debt in Testing Environments

Speaker: Valentin Guerlesquin

alt text

All software systems, from new developments to legacy systems, suffer from test automation backlogs, i.e., manual tests that stagnate the rate of development and innovation. I argue that such backlogs are really technical debt. I will provide a practitioner’s perspective on what the characteristics of such technical debt are. Through an analogy to financial debt, I will present approaches that are often resorted to in order to address such technical debt, which at first glance seem harmless but often lead to nightmares in practice. Many of these issues present research challenges that can have a significant impact on the practice of software development. The talk will be of benefit to both researchers and practitioners who want to avoid common pitfalls of technical debt removal in testing environments.

Valentin Guerlesquin is the director of test automation and performance testing at National Bank. He has been a software testing professional for more than 10 years. Guerlesquin has worked in several roles, including test environment management, manual functional testing, mobile, and testing process improvement. He is an ISTQB full advanced and TMMi certified professional. He has trained dozens of his peers in several organizations from telecom, to the aerospace industry, to finance..

Steering Committee

Paris Avgeriou, University of Groningen
Philippe Kruchten, University of British Columbia
Robert L. Nord, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Ipek Ozkaya, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Carolyn Seaman, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Program Committee

Paris Avgeriou University of Groningen Program Co-Chair
Klaus Schmid Stiftung University Hildesheim Program Co-Chair
Neil Ernst University of Victoria Tools Co-Chair
Magiel Bruntink Software Improvement Group Tools Co-Chair
Esra Alzaghoul University of Jordan
Apostolos Ampatzoglou University of Macedonia
Damian Andrew Tamburri Eindhoven University of Technology
Francesca Arcelli Fontana University of Milano-Bicocca
Rami Bahsoon University of Birmingham
Stephany Bellomo Software Engineering Institute
Terese Besker Chalmers University of Technology
Jan Bosch Chalmers University of Technology
Frank Buschmann Siemens AG
Yuanfang Cai Drexel University
Alexander Chatzigeorgiou University of Macedonia
Marcus Ciolkowski QAware GmbH
Gennadiy Civil Google
Zadia Codabux Colby College
Davide Falessi California Polytechnic State University
Steven Fraser Innoxec
Juan Garbajosa Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Isaac Grifith Idaho State University
Clemente Izurieta Montana State University
Andreas Jedlitschka Fraunhofer IESE
Sven Johann Trifork
Heiko Koziolek ABB Corporate Research
Philippe Kruchten The University of British Columbia
Ville Leppänen University of Turku
Jean-Louis Letouzey inspearit
Peng Liang Wuhan University
Antonio Martini University of Oslo
Andrew Meneely Rochester Institute of Technology
David Morgenthaler Google
Robert Nord Software Engineering Institute
Patroklos Papapetrou Elastic
Jennifer Perez Technical University of Madrid
Eltjo Poort CGI
Ken Power Cisco Systems
Narayan Ramasubbu University of Pittsburgh
Gonzalo Rojas University of Concepción
Carolyn Seaman University of Maryland–Baltimore County
Andriy Shapochka SoftServe, Inc.
Emad Shihab Concordia University
Will Snipes ABB Corporate Research
Rodrigo Spinola Universidade Salvador
Wolfgang Trumler Siemens AG
Eberhard Wolff INNOQ
Eoin Woods Artechra
Olaf Zimmermann HSR FHO

TechDebt 2018

To accelerate progress, an expanded two-day working conference format has become essential. The inaugural edition of the TechDebt Conference was held jointly with ICSE 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden, May 27–28, 2018. Researchers, practitioners, and tool vendors explored theoretical and practical techniques that manage technical debt.

Dagstuhl Seminar: Managing Technical Debt in Software Engineering

A week-long Dagstuhl Seminar on Managing Technical Debt in Software Engineering, April 17 – 22 , 2016, has produced a consensus definition for technical debt, a draft conceptual model, and a research roadmap.

International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt Series

The Managing Technical Debt workshop series has provided a forum since 2010 for practitioners and researchers to discuss issues related to technical debt and share emerging practices used in software-development organizations. Browse the workshop collections.

Workshop Presentations Proceedings Summary
TechDebt 2018 @ ICSE First International Conference on Technical Debt ACM digital library N/A
MTD 2017 @ XP Ninth International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt ACM digital library Technical Debt in Agile Development: Report on the Ninth Workshop on Managing Technical Debt (MTD 2017), ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Volume 42, Issue 3, July 2017, pages 18-21.
MTD 2016 @ ICSME Eighth International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt IEEE Xplore Technical Debt: A Research Roadmap Report on the Eighth Workshop on Managing Technical Debt (MTD 2016), ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Volume 42, Issue 1, January 2017, pages 28-31.
MTD 2015 @ ICSME Seventh International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt IEEE Xplore Technical Debt: Broadening Perspectives Report on the Seventh Workshop on Managing Technical Debt (MTD 2015), ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Volume 41, Issue 2, March 2016, pages 38-41.
MTD 2014 @ ICSME Sixth International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt IEEE Xplore Technical Debt: Beyond Definition to Understanding Report on the Sixth International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt, ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Volume 40, Issue 2, March 2015, pages 32-34.
MTD 2013b @ ESEIW Fifth International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt N/A Technical debt at the crossroads of research and practice: report on the fifth international workshop on managing technical debt, ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Volume 39, Issue 2, March 2014, pages 31-33.
MTD 2013a @ ICSE Fourth International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt IEEE Xplore Technical debt: towards a crisper definition report on the 4th international workshop on managing technical debt, ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Volume 38, Issue 5, September 2013, pages 51-54.
MTD 2012 @ ICSE Third International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt IEEE Xplore Technical debt in software development: from metaphor to theory report on the third international workshop on managing technical debt, ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Volume 37, Issue 5, September 2012, pages 36-38.
MTD 2011 @ ICSE Second International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt ACM digital library Managing technical debt in software development: report on the 2nd international workshop on managing technical debt, held at ICSE 2011, ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, Volume 36, Issue 5, September 2011, pages 33-35.
MTD 2010 First International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt N/A Managing Technical Debt in Software-Reliant Systems, FSE/SDP Workshop on the Future of Software Engineering Research, 2010.