SIESTA 2023, 8 international speakers and 40 participants at the third International Software Engineering Summer School


Institutional Communication Service

18 September 2023

The third SIESTA, the International Software Engineering Summer School organised by USI Software Institute, took place in Lugano. From 11 to 13 September, 40 participants, mostly Ph.D. students from Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Romania, had the opportunity to follow 7 tutorials led by international researchers, pitch their research, and partake in social events. 

SIESTA aims to bring together leading figures from academia and industry with PhD students to discuss and explore the latest trends in software development. 

The third edition of SIESTA took place over three days. In the morning of the first day, Margaret-Anne Storey (University of Victoria) spoke about how to carry out impactful research in software engineering, while in the afternoon, Marco D'Ambros and Andrea Mocci (CodeLounge) talked about their experience with tools such as GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT in the software development process. The day concluded with the first session of "Students' Talks", where 11 participants presented their research in 300 seconds and received feedback from all SIESTA attendees, including organisers and speakers. The day ended with an aperitif by the lake.

On the second day of the event, Michele Tufano, a Microsoft senior researcher, spoke about artificial intelligence's impact on the field of software engineering. Following this, Venera Arnaoudova from Washington State University discussed biometric measurements and their importance in software engineering. The final talk of the day was given by Andrian Marcus from George Mason University. He offered a "Hitchhiker's Guide to the PhD," inspired by the famous work by Douglas Adams. The day concluded with the second "Students' Talks" session and a social dinner in a typical lakeside grotto.

 The final day of SIESTA began with a presentation by Vadim Zaytsev, a professor at the University of Twente. He discussed the challenges and opportunities of "seeing" a programming language. Alberto Bacchelli, a professor at the University of Zurich, then concluded the programme by explaining the research methods used in his award-winning paper on code review. After the presentations, participants took a brief exam to assess what they had learned during the summer school. The lineup of events concluded with a lunch where awards were presented for the best presentation given during the "Students' Talks" and for the best exam result.

At the end of the summer school, there were many positive comments from participants and speakers. Margaret-Anne Storey, for example, commented: "The organisation was incredible! I learnt a lot from the speakers and the Ph.D. students. Thank you!" or Venera Arnaoudova who said that SIESTA 2023 was "the most memorable summer school I have ever attended. Amazing organisation, excellent speakers and wonderful interactions with the students". Maxime André, a participant, described SIESTA as "the ideal destination to discuss Software Engineering in exceptional locations, attending enriching talks and participating in fun and very well organised activities, all accompanied by excellent Italian food and moments to socialise with friendly and smart people".