CLOSED: The Social Developer: The Future of Software Development—Call for Papers


Submission deadline: Closed

Publication: Jan./Feb. 2019

Contemporary software engineering has inevitably become much more social. Large-scale software development now implies active user involvement and close cooperation and collaboration between all team members. Developers must communicate and interact continuously with other developers and a variety of stakeholders such as users, suppliers, customers, and business partners. These interactions cross organizational, geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic boundaries. A variety of collaborative tools can facilitate this interaction—for example, distributed version control systems (such as Git), issue and bug trackers (such as JIRA), mailing lists, developer forums, blogs, Q&A websites (such as Stack Overflow), and continuous-integration tools.

Despite all these tools, coordination problems are still prevalent, and large distributed developer teams continue to suffer from suboptimal interaction and communication. Therefore, understanding, supporting, and improving these complex sociotechnical interaction and coordination processes remain necessities. This process also requires sociotechnical techniques for analyzing and supporting large-scale software development relying on a plethora of research techniques such as social-network analysis, data mining, empirical methods, sentiment analysis, and ethnographic analysis.

So, this theme issue of IEEE Software aims to inform software engineering practitioners about current trends and recent advances in research on and the practice of sociotechnical analysis and support for large-scale software development. Topics of interest include but aren’t limited to

  • analyses of sociotechnical debt (expanding the notion of technical debt to include the social dimension);
  • evidence of the positive or negative effects of developer turnover, developer migration, and the “bus factor’’;
  • ethnographic studies of large-scale development teams;
  • evidence of the impact of social, cultural, gender, geographical, or other types of diversity in software development;
  • studies of how gender issues affect software development teams;
  • evidence of the positive or negative effects of specific tools or technologies on community interaction, communication, and collaboration;
  • methods and tools supporting software development’s social aspects, with demonstrated relevance to practitioners;
  • qualitative or quantitative empirical studies of sociotechnical software development analytics in the field, with clear, actionable results; and
  • practical or industrial experience (for example, good and bad practices and lessons learned) with the sociotechnical aspects of large-scale software development. We strongly encourage papers that present studies beyond a single organization.

Besides seeking regular-length articles, we seek short experience reports from practitioners. These reports don’t need to make a research contribution. Instead, they should present practical insights and experiences, focusing on the challenges faced, solutions attempted, and results obtained.


For more information about the theme, contact the guest editors:

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts must not exceed 3,000 words, and short experience reports must not exceed 2,000 words. This includes figures and tables, which count for 250 words each. Submissions exceeding these limits might be rejected without refereeing. The articles we deem within the theme’s scope will be peer reviewed and are subject to editing for magazine style, clarity, organization, and space. We reserve the right to edit the title of all submissions. Be sure to include the name of the theme for which you’re submitting.

Articles should have a practical orientation and be written in a style accessible to practitioners. Overly complex, purely research-oriented or theoretical treatments aren’t appropriate. Articles should be novel. IEEE Software doesn’t republish material published previously in other venues, including other periodicals and formal conference or workshop proceedings, whether previous publication was in print or electronic form.


For general author guidelines:

For submission details:

To submit an article: