The 2018 International Conference On Software Engineering Breaks Attendance Records As It Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary

By Lori Cameron
Published 05/31/2018
Share this on:

Gothenburg, Sweden—The 40th International Conference on Software Engineering held in Gothenburg, Sweden, 27 May – 3 June 2018, broke records with over 1,700 attendees from all over the world, making it the largest ICSE event ever, organizers said.

The 2018 ICSE celebrates its 40th anniversary—along with 50 years of software engineering—promoting unparalleled research, education, and practices as the world’s premier software engineering conference.

Keynote presentations and videos from ICSE 2018 can be viewed here.

Among the keynote speakers was Margaret Hamilton, renowned mathematician and computer science pioneer who worked on the Apollo space team for many years. Hamilton is credited with having coined the term “software engineering” while leading the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, which NASA contracted to develop the guidance and navigation system for the Apollo spacecraft.

Who is Margaret Hamilton? Read about the scientist who gave us “software engineering”

“It was 1959. We were building real-time systems for weather prediction, homeland security and space travel,” said Hamilton in a summary of her remarks. She is CEO of Hamilton Technologies, Inc., who graduated in 1958 with a mathematics major and philosophy minor from Earlham College. She is depicted in the photo below.

“The space mission software had to be man-rated. Not only did it have to work; it had to work the first time. Not only did the software, itself, have to be ultra-reliable, it needed to be able to perform error detection and recovery in real time. Our languages dared us to make the most subtle of errors. We were on our own to come up with rules for building software. What we learned from the errors was full of surprises,” said Hamilton.

See full calendar of IEEE Computer Society conferences

In the early days, Margaret Hamilton stands next to a stack of Apollo Guidance Computer source code. Photo Credit: Courtesy MIT Museum

The keynote speakers proved to be a huge draw at the event.

“Software is an enabler for communication. Communication is an enabler of software development,” says keynote speaker, Magnus Frodigh. Frodigh is acting Head of Ericsson Research. Prior to taking up this position, he was Research Area Director for Network Architecture and Protocols at Ericsson Research.

Ödgärd Andersson explains why Volvo, as well as most any modern car, is better viewed as a moving super-computer than a mechanical device.  Andersson is Vice President of Vehicle Software and Electronics at Volvo Cars, passionate about making great car software that is a growing part of the content of the modern connected cars in everything from user experience, digital information and entertainment to autonomous, self-driving cars.

Mythical Fred Brooks talks about 50+ years of software engineering history. Brooks is Kenan Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was an architect of the IBM Stretch and Harvest supercomputers and Corporate Project Manager for the IBM System/360 mainframe family (now Zsystems), including development of the System/360 computers’ hardware, and the Operating System/360 software.

Linda Northrop highlights the central role of architecture when building software systems during her keynote address.

Meiyappan Nagappan receives the Mining Software Repositories Early Career Achievement Award 2018.

The Most Influential Paper Award went to Andrew J. Ko (left), associate professor at the University of Washington Information School and an adjunct associate professor in Computer Science and Engineering, and Brad A. Myers (right), professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, for their paper “Debugging reinvented: asking and answering why and why not questions about program behavior.”

Ciera Jaspan, Matthew Jorde, Andrea Knight, Caitlin Sadowski, Edward K. Smith, and Collin Winter of Google, and Emerson Murphy-Hill of North Carolina State University win the Best Paper Award from IEEE Software for “Advantages and Disadvantages of a Monolithic Repository: A Case Study at Google.”

Read more about the ICSE 2018 award winners here.

Guests enjoyed a banquet on Thursday evening. Other conference social events included a short presentation on Tuesday evening about the future of the automotive industry as guests enjoyed beer, food, and mingling; a reception on Wednesday evening at Universeum, Scandanavia’s largest nature museum; a 5 and 10k run on Thursday morning; and two soccer games on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon where participants squared off against each other.

International Conference on Software Engineering attendees talk about the excitement of ICSE 2018 as well as the attractions and Scandanavian culture that abound in historic Gothenburg, Sweden.

Other keynote speakers

  • Brian Randell graduated in Mathematics from Imperial College, London in 1957 and joined the English Electric Company where he and colleagues implemented the Whetstone KDF9 Algol compiler.
  • Andreas Zeller is Faculty at the Center for IT-Security, Privacy, and Accountability (CISPA), and professor for Software Engineering at Saarland University, both in Saarbrücken, Germany. In 2011, he received an ERC Advanced Grant, Europe’s highest and most prestigious individual research grant, for work on specification mining and test case generation.
  • Ivar Jacobson was born in Ystad, Sweden, graduated from Chalmers as an electrical engineer, got his Ph.D. from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, was rewarded the Gustaf Dalén medal from Chalmers in 2003, and made an honorary doctor at San Martin de Porres University, Peru, in 2009.
  • Danica Kragic is a Professor at the School of Computer Science and Communication at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH. She received MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Rijeka, Croatia in 1995 and PhD in Computer Science from KTH in 2001. She has been a visiting researcher at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University and INRIA Rennes.
  • Jan Bosch is professor of software engineering at Chalmers University Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is director of the Software Center, a strategic partner-funded collaboration between 11 large European companies and five universities focused on software engineering excellence.
  • Noel Lovisa is CEO and founder of Code Valley, a software development tools company that allows developers to utilise Emergent Coding to create software. Emergent Coding relies upon a decentralised platform for competitive compilation, where program requirements are given in language-agnostic form, and where each developer-owned node in the system receives payment every time it contributes compiled bytes to a new build.
  • Linda Northrop has over 45 years of experience in the software development field as a practitioner, researcher, manager, consultant, author, speaker, and educator. She is a Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) where she is currently a part-time employee working for the CTO on strategic technical activities.
  • Frank Buschmann works at Siemens Corporate Technology in Munich, Germany, where he is a key expert and technical leader in the research on software and systems architecture and software development technologies. Frank also advises development organizations in applying these technologies to realize innovative software products.
  • Gregor Kiczales is Professor of Computer Science and Senior Advisor to the Provost on Digital Learning Strategy at the University of British Columbia. His longest line of research is directed at enabling programmers to write programs that, as much as possible, look like their design.
  • Roberto Di Cosmo holds a PhD from the University of Pisa, and is full professor of Computer Science at University Paris Diderot since 1999, after a decade spent at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. He is currently on leave at Inria.


IEEE Computer Society staff member Michelle Ocampo contributed to this story from Sweden; Lori Cameron wrote from California. Our thanks also go out to Željko Obrenović and Lisa Nguyen Quang Do for sharing photos of the conference.



About Lori Cameron

Lori Cameron is a Senior Writer for the IEEE Computer Society and currently writes regular features for Computer magazine, Computing Edge, and the Computing Now and Magazine Roundup websites. Contact her at Follow her on LinkedIn.