Theme Issue on Software Engineering for DevOps

Submission Deadline: 4 October 2015
Publication: May/June 2016

Software engineers think their job is done once they’ve completed the code. But code complete isn’t the same as code in production. The first principle of agile development tells us that “our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software” ( In recent years, the DevOps movement has focused on the types and causes of delays in getting high-quality code into production.

More and more organizations in a variety of domains are adopting DevOps practices that aim to reduce the time between committing a change to a system and placing the change into normal production, while ensuring high quality (L. Bass, I. M. Weber, and L. Zhu, DevOps: A Software Architect’s Perspective, 1st ed., Addison-Wesley Professional, 2015). Yet these practices involve complex interactions between processes, architectures, tools, and organizational structure. So, adoption of these practices is disruptive.

This theme issue of IEEE Software focuses on the software-engineering challenges of adopting DevOps practices. Such adoption involves all the facets of software engineering, so we expect to see submissions that tailor or extend results in process, architecture, tooling, and organizational change to apply them to DevOps.

We invite submissions covering any aspect of software engineering for DevOps including, but not limited to,

  • empirical studies of the impact of DevOps practices;
  • measurements of DevOps, including metrics such as time to production, error rates, build failures, and technical debt;
  • architectural design elements that support DevOps and continuous deployment, with a discussion of the tradeoffs involved in the design choices;
  • tool chains for supporting DevOps practices;
  • automated testing, especially regarding integration with deployment pipelines, live production testing, and security, performance, and UI testing;
  • continuous-deployment models and the tradeoffs they involve;
  • integrating security into DevOps practices;
  • reliability of continuous-deployment practices, and detection, diagnosis, and recovery of errors in continuous deployment;
    changes in incident-handling processes as a result of adopting DevOps practices; and
  • DevOps experiences in special domains such as big data analytics, high-performance computing, health, telecommunications, and the Internet of Things.


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

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts must not exceed 4,700 words including figures and tables, which count for 250 words each. Submissions in excess of these limits may be rejected without refereeing. The articles we deem within the theme and 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 or special issue 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.

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