CLOSED Call for Papers: Special Issue on the Wellbeing for Resilience: Developers Thrive

IEEE Software seeks submissions for this upcoming special issue.
Share this on:
Submissions Due: 30 October 2023

Important Dates

  • Deadline Submission: 30 October 2023
  • Publication: July/August 2024

With mental health challenges having reached unprecedented numbers in the last couple of years, it is time for IEEE Software to make space for a special issue that raises awareness for this topic. There is a need for adequate terminology to have conversations on how to create safe spaces at work where mental and emotional health can be addressed without prejudice and awkwardness and instead with professional compassion. In certain populations, there is still a stigma around mental health, wellbeing, and resilience. 

Well-being focuses on promoting positive emotions and experiences, while resilience is focused on developing skills and strategies to cope with adversity. Both are needed for individual sustainability.

Software engineers tend to work under significant deadline pressure, most of the time in front of a computer, in either strongly distributed or very close settings, and juggling many tasks. They may become prone to stress, which accumulated over a long time can lead to depression, anxiety, and burnout. Software engineers also create the systems that run our world, and we infuse our values into the systems we create. Consequently, the software engineers´ resilience and wellbeing is crucial for societal wellbeing and resilience. 

This issue is important for the target audiences of both academia and industry, as we see the consequences of negligence in terms of mental healthcare in the numbers of burnouts in general as well as retention rates for especially marginalized groups. Burnout has been classified as an occupational hazard by the WHO. Or, framed positively, if we can show different studies that incentivize employers to take action to support their employees in software development to take better care of their mental health, we can improve retention, decrease sick days, and increase productivity as a by-product of having content developers and teams.

We invite research articles, review articles and survey articles, and point-counterpoint articles covering any aspect of wellbeing and resilience from a developer perspective of how software engineers develop systems while maintaining personal wellbeing in stressful times and challenging contexts. 

We encourage articles that shed a critical light on where well-being efforts might be misdirected, where slicing well-being offers into already tight schedules can have a negative effect, and how the quantified self may stress people rather more than less. Such a critique might also be offered in a point-counterpoint discussion article.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Factors impacting wellbeing and mental health for developers and development teams
  • Factors impacting resilience and adaptability for developers and teams
  • The impacts of leadership styles, team management, and psychological safety on wellbeing and resilience
  • Effects of wellbeing practices on team cohesiveness, communication, creativity, happiness, satisfaction, enthusiasm, and retention
  • Wellbeing values of individuals and companies and their propagation into designs
  • Performance impacts of individuals and teams based on wellbeing or resilience
  • The relation between developer wellbeing and responsibility for social and environmental debt of software-intensive systems
  • Attitudes towards wellbeing, resilience and mental health in software development & management and their effects on individuals and teams
  • Effects of the digital divide in wellbeing and resilience from a developer’s view
  • Wellbeing and resilience of minority developer populations (e.g. gender, ethnicity, culture, age)
  • The effects of mentoring, coaching, quantified self, and reflective tools on wellbeing and resilience in developers

These topics are of equal value to research and industry because all are suffering from increased burnout rates and the aftereffects of the pandemic. In addition, the digital transformation has been leading more and more workplaces to become technology-centric, and consequently, related stressors become more common amongst society. That in turn requires the software engineering industry to start putting wellbeing and resilience first.

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts must not exceed 4,200 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. Be sure to include the name of the theme you’re submitting for. 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.


Contact the guest editors at

  • Birgit Penzenstadler, Chalmers Tekniska Högskola, Sweden & Lappeenranta University, Finland
  • Brittany Johnson, George Mason University, USA
  • Muneera Bano, CSIRO, Australia
  • Per Lenberg, SAAB, Sweden