November/December 2010 (Vol. 27, No. 6) pp. 3-5
0740-7459/10/$31.00 © 2010 IEEE
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Passing the Reins
|Thanks to Many|
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Editors in chief of IEEE Computer Society publications serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms. IEEE Software is no exception. Therefore, January 2011 marks the end of my fourth year as editor in chief and the beginning of my successor's term. Such a turnover is both healthy and necessary. It injects fresh blood into the publication. It allows new ideas to flourish, new connections to be made, and new directions to be discovered under a new leadership and a new team. It also allows the incumbent to pursue new endeavors and contribute to the community in different ways.
The baton will be passed to someone who has been intimately involved in the magazine for a long time, someone who has served in pivotal editorial roles and contributed a great deal over the past four years. That person is also familiar to you: Forrest Shull. Since 2007, Forrest has been associate editor in chief responsible for one of the magazine's highest-volume and most central coverage areas: empirical results. He also started the Voice of Evidence department and made it the success it is today. Between the two responsibilities, he's had to juggle more than any of his fellow associate editors. But Forrest's endless energy pushed him further: he contributed in many other ways, small and large, whenever he saw a chance to help. A highlight was his chairing a 2009 workshop, Software Architecture Challenges in the 21st Century, which Software cosponsored with the University of Southern California and the University of California, Irvine.
Armed with that experience and energy, Forrest is now gearing up to take on a different responsibility. And nobody is better prepared than him to lead the magazine. So it's with the comfort of knowing that all will be in excellent hands that I am ready to take my editor hat off and hand it over to my successor. In fact, unofficially Forrest's task has already started. The magazine staff and I have been working with him closely since his appointment in June to ensure a smooth transition. If you want to know more about Forrest, you'll find his biography in the sidebar "Incoming Editor in Chief Forrest Shull."
Thanks to Many
As for me, it was a total blast—a tremendously rewarding experience. So many contributed to that experience. Among those, our armies of readers, authors, and reviewers deserve the first mention. So thank you, readers, for being our reason to exist. Thank you, authors, for being our life sources. Thank you, reviewers, for being our sounding boards.
I've had the unique opportunity to work with many great people. Doubtless, the volunteers who serve as associate editors, columnists, and advisory board members represent some of the best minds in our industry. But it was their infectious enthusiasm and passion, beyond anything else, and their tremendous capacity to give back that have always both amazed me and kept me on my toes to match their drive. I learned a lot from them, and as a result, grew a lot. Among the group, Frances Paulisch and Stephen Mellor, the current and past chairs of Software's Advisory Board, deserve special mention. Their support and leadership have been invaluable. In particular, Frances redefined the role of Advisory Board chair over the past couple of years, becoming a true ambassador for the magazine. Her function has become central to the magazine's strategic management.
Most of my day-to-day tasks involved interacting with the magazine staff, the people who are invisible to the readers but make the magazine run in the background. I was extremely lucky to work with people who not only operate at the upper extreme of professionalism but are also conscientious and caring. I once wrote an editorial on superprofessionalism, a term that I coined to refer to people like them. They include first and foremost Dale Strok, a fixture and Software's lead staff editor, with whom I worked most closely over my entire term. Jenny Stout, Scott Hamilton, Hilda Carman, Mercy Frederickson (who works for Allen Press), Kathleen Henry, Steve Woods, and Crystal Shif are others. A shockingly sad event that plunged the Computer Society and Software into grief and left a gaping hole in that list is Scott Hamilton's sudden death on 4 September. Scott was the Society's senior manager for products and acquisitions. I am indebted to him for his support and help in dealing with some pretty thorny issues. I dedicate this last editorial to Scott's memory.
How can you help? A lot of our ideas originate from the readers. Please continue to give ample feedback: tell us about the topics that tweak your attention, whether you like what you read, what we're doing right and doing wrong. Keep the letters to the editor flowing. Respond to reader surveys.
Many readers are future authors: yes, our selection process is competitive and may require several attempts for new and seasoned authors alike, but that doesn't mean you should think twice about contacting the editor about an article idea. If you're a first-time author, make sure to visit our website's Author Center ( www.computer.org/software/author.htm) and read about the review process, manuscript preparation guidelines, and tips to authors.
Software relies on volunteers to exist. They dedicate countless hours on editorial, strategic, and promotional activities. Stay involved. Volunteer to be a reviewer if you have expertise in any of our coverage areas (visit the Reviewer Center of our website at www.computer.org/software/reviewer.htm). Inquire about serving on the Advisory Board by writing to its chair Frances Paulisch (paulisch at ieee dot org) if you have industrial experience, contacts, and a broad perspective on our industry, you can commit at least a few hours a month to contribute, can travel to attend face-to-face meetings, and your employer is supportive. Make sure to let Frances know about how you can help.
Finally, tell your colleagues about Software. Spread the word about good software engineering practices.