Accounting for socio-technical resilience in software engineering

Lopez, Tamara; Sharp, Helen; Wermelinger, Michel; Langer, Melanie; Levine, Mark; Jay, Caroline; Yu, Yijun and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2023). Accounting for socio-technical resilience in software engineering. In: 2023 IEEE/ACM 16th International Conference on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering (CHASE), 14-15 May 2023, Melbourne.



Resilience engineering (RE) is most commonly applied at the organisational level, and has historically been associated with safety-critical industries such as nuclear, medical or aviation. This paper explores the application of RE frameworks within software engineering, and investigates resilient performance of the socio-technical system that supports the creation of software. We present a preliminary study based on a secondary analysis of data from previous ethnographic studies of commercial software practice. This analysis uses an RE framework devised for small team practice in safety critical settings. We present and discuss three salient episodes of software practice that illustrate the application of RE principles to software engineering, and suggest how this kind of analysis may benefit software engineering. We present challenges and opportunities based on our experience and propose future research directions.

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