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Requirements Engineering: Both Sides of the Issues

Alan Davis

18 de Junio de 2009
Aula A-6102, 17:30 horas


Al Davis is a professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He was a member of the board of directors of Requisite, Inc., acquired by Rational, and subsequently acquired by IBM. He has consulted for many corporations over the past twenty-seven years, including Boeing, Cigna Insurance, Federal Express, FrontRange Solutions, Fujitsu, IBM, MCI, Mitsubishi Electric, Schlumberger, Sharp, Software Productivity Consortium, Storage Tek, Sumitomo, and XAware.

Previously, he was

  • Chairman and CEO of Omni-Vista
  • Vice President of Engineering Services at BTG
  • a Director of R&D at GTE Communication Systems

He has held academic positions at George Mason U and the U of Tennessee, and temporary academic positions and/or Fulbrights at Atma Jaya U in Indonesia; U of Jos in Nigeria; Universidad Politcnica de Madrid in Spain; U of Technology in Sydney; and U of the Western Cape in Cape Town.

He was Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Software from 1994 to 1998. He is the author of 5 books including, 201 Principles of Software Development, and Just Enough Requirements Management. Dr. Davis has published 100+ articles in journals, conferences and trade press, and lectured 500+ times in over 20 countries. He is a founder of the IEEE International Conferences of Requirements Engineering. He has been a fellow of the IEEE since 1994, and earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in 1975.


Requirements engineering (RE) is a nascent discipline. Practitioners rarely agree on what makes a "best practice." Researchers rarely agree as well. The proceedings of the many years of the IEEE requirements engineering conferences contain hundreds of papers claiming that this method or that tool or these languages are somehow "better" than the rest. The reality is we really don't know. Even the most fundamental issues are yet to be resolved. The speaker will pose a series of "open issues" on requirements engineering. For each issue, the instructor will argue vehemently for the "pro" position for 5-10 minutes. Then he will argue equally vehemently for the "con" position for 5-10 minutes.

This way the audience will see both sides of each argument. After both sides for an issue are made, the audience will be asked to vote on which position they believe. Issues may include: (a) You can elicit all requirements via collaborative meetings, (b) Prioritizing requirements is easy: just rank them from 1 to n, (c) Requirements fall right out of business strategy, (d) The marketing department should be in complete control of requirements, (e) Reduce requirements change, (f) You must fully understand the market and the industry before writing requirements, and (g) Requirements should be written in language x.

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