February 14 – 19 , 1999, Dagstuhl Seminar 99071

Software Engineering Research and Education: Seeking a new Agenda


E. Denert (sd&m, München), D. Hoffman (Victoria), J. Ludewig (Stuttgart), D. Parnas (McMaster)

The Dagstuhl Foundation gratefully acknowledges the donation from:

  • sd&m, München

For support, please contact

Dagstuhl Service Team


Dagstuhl's Impact: Documents available
Dagstuhl-Seminar-Report 230


In any engineering discipline, establishing the core body of knowledge is an essential step. In the software engineering community, the lack of agreement regarding this knowledge is a handicap. Educators and researchers are left without clear answers to the questions:

  • What do we already know?
  • What should we teach?
  • What are the most important open problems?

And, last but not least:

  • Where are the limits of our field?

The result is that we are not focussing on the most important problems and there is much wasted effort in education, research, and development.

The goal of this seminar is to make concrete progress towards establishing the core body of knowledge for software engineering. We will structure this knowledge as observations about the solutions to a set of tasks that every practicing software engineer should be able to perform.

The seminar will focus on problems which are clearly technical. We will, however, spend some time for defining the limits towards adjoining problems, like software project management, software quality assurance, and the design of the computer system configuration, including the separation of hardware and software.

Each participant is required to contribute a position paper well before the seminar. This paper should focus on one task (from a given list) and state whether the task is: "Standard operating procedure (SOP)", "Solved", "Partially solved", "Unsolved", or "Not relevant".

The position paper must briefly justify the claim. If the claim is "SOP" or "solved", then an approach must be named and successful applications cited. If the claim is "unsolved", then the open problems must be described.

The Dagstuhl Seminar will be run as a "writer's workshop". The submitted position papers are viewed as drafts to be improved by discussion at the seminar. Most of the workshop sessions will be spent on discussing and improving the position papers. New drafts are expected daily. Our goal is a Dagstuhl seminar where we produce concrete useful results, in this case a collection of well-written position papers that together constitute a new kind of agenda for software engineering research and education.


In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.


Download overview leaflet (PDF).

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.


Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.