October 6, 2021
by Todd Erickson
A technical paper co-authored by current and former Phase Change research scientists, and presented at the 2021 annual ICSME event, won a Distinguished Paper Award from the IEEE Computer Society Technical Council on Software Engineering (TCSE).
The paper, "Contemporary COBOL: Developers' Perspectives on Defects and Defect Location," was co-authored by current Phase Change Senior Research Scientist Rahul Pandita, former Senior Research Scientist Aleksander Chakarov, and former intern Agnieszka Ciborowska. It was presented at the 37th annual International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME) 2021 in Luxembourg City, Great Duchy of Luxembourg, September 27 - October 1.
The authors presented results from surveys of COBOL and more modern programming languages regarding defects and defect-location strategies. While the software industry has made substantial advances in maintaining programs written in modern languages, mainframe programs have received limited attention. Meanwhile, mainframe systems face a critical shortage of experienced developers and replacement developers face significant difficulties even during routine maintenance tasks.
Pandita, who has already co-authored a number of published papers, said that this award is particularly gratifying because all of the authors were working together at Phase Change when it was written, and that he hopes it is just the first of many more like it.
This is the fourth published technical paper co-authored by Phase Change scientists, the third to be presented at scientific conferences, and the second to win a distinguished paper award.