Making Software and Software Engineering Visible

Software is becoming increasing pervasive. We have been witnessing dramatic changes and improvements in our lives courtesy to software based devices, services, and systems. Several reports are appearing that emphasise the importance of software engineering for continuously driving the ICT based innovation and job creation. For example, NESSI, a European technology platform has released a report that advocates the investment in capacity building for software engineering for emerging trends and technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and cyber physical systems. There are other European reports that talk about strengthening European capacity in software engineering as software industry generates billions of euros of revenues and provides millions of jobs in Europe.

Many reports including the above mentioned ones appear to agree that software is not visible enough despite most of the ICT based innovation is software driven. Recently, I gave a Talk  at NICTA/Swinburne Fall School on Software Engineering. The talk purported to convey the message that software has been enabling most of the social, economic, organisational, political, and technological innovation over the last many years. However, we hardly notice or think about software as one of the key drivers of innovation and productivity in this century. I am of the view that it is increasingly becoming clear that software and software engineering need to gain appropriate visibility for attracting suitable R&D investment to support tangible and intangible societal benefits. The talk was meant to highlight some of the key aspects that can make software engineering as a distinct discipline of research and practice for societal advantages in the developed as well as the developing Worlds. The talk also shared some of the mechanisms of raising the visibility of software and software engineering for driving the innovation and productivity.