First SWForum.eu Sustainability Workshop
On 19 January 2022, SWForum.eu hosted its first Sustainability Workshop with approximately forty invited participants representing the European research, industry, and academic sectors in software technologies. The objective of the workshop was to elaborate a plan of action to create a vibrant and self-sustainable European community on Software Engineering. The discussion was wide-ranging, with numerous ideas put forward from the different perspectives of the participants.
One result was an initiative to facilitate the creation of discussion groups around relevant current topics in software technologies, utilizing also the online SWForum.eu Forum. Here are examples taken from the set of topics discussed during the workshop:
- Green software. This has led directly to the organisation by SWForum.eu of the WEGreen Workshop in June 2022.
- Measuring sustainability of software. This is, of course, related to the concept of green software, but is also more widely applicable. See, for example, the work of the Software Sustainability Institute.
- Secure software development (including secure development lifecycles, evaluation, compliance). One of the pillars of SWForum.eu is cybersecurity, and considerable expertise is available within the consortium.
- Software Engineering for Artificial Intelligence (“SE for AI”). As AI – especially Machine Learning – becomes ever more important in our products and services, “SE for AI” is likewise becoming an important topic of interest – as well as “AI for SE”!
- European sovereignty in software engineering. Europe has always had a leading role in software engineering research. As a recent petition by representatives of the European software engineering research community has argued, further steps and funding are needed to achieve European sovereignty in software engineering practice as well, providing benefits to its vast industrial stakeholder community.
In addition, the participants in the Sustainability Workshop agreed to pursue a number of other initiatives, including:
- Facilitate the bootstrap of specific collaborations between subgroups in the community. For instance, a working group could support OW2 in the revision of the training material they have prepared about open source and support them in having the community rating it with the objective of helping them in improving this material. Many other such collaborations are possible with other community groups of interest.
- Enable the federation of national organizations focusing on software engineering. The participants in the Sustainability Forum decided to create a working group focused on studying the characteristics of the currently established organizations (e.g., GDR-GPL, TIVIA, VERSEN, SISTEDES). The working group would identify the scope of a potential federation and approach the established organizations to assess their interest in the creation of a federation, encouraging the creation of national organizations in the areas where these are not present.
- Maintain the relationships between the software engineering community and the European Commission to help shape the future research agenda, acting as ambassadors of the concerns issues raised by community members.
As SWForum.eu enters into its next phase, these initiatives and others will begin to unfold. Join us in our efforts to provide Europe with continuing leadership in software technologies!