19.05.2022 IfI Colloquium: Improving development tool impact through natural developer interfaces


Prof. Dr. Reid Holmes, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Date: Thursday, 19 May 2022, 17:15 h

Location: room BIN 2.A.01 at the Department of Informatics (IfI)Binzmühlestrasse 14, 8050 Zürich  (information here) 

Details about the format of the talk shall be checked always just ahead of a certain presentation date: (information here) 


Software developers continually adapt how they work to the increasing complexity of modern software systems. Software development tools help developers to understand, plan, and perform their tasks on large systems more effectively than without tool support. While developers know that these tools can improve productivity, many tools go unused by developers despite their value. Three reasons for this are that developers often do not know which tools they should use, when they should use them, or how to apply them to evolve their systems. 
In this talk, I will discuss how natural developer interfaces offer an opportunity to more seamlessly support software evolution by better aligning tools with how developers work on their tasks in practice. The most famous example of a natural developer interface is autocomplete, which developers invoke continuously as it helps them in a way that aligns with their needs. By providing developers tools that naturally fit their workflows, tools can be more widely used and have greater impact on developer's tasks.


Reid Holmes is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. He is the recipient of the 2018 CS-Can/Info-Can Young Computer Science Researcher Award, a national recognition for Canadian Computer Scientists who have made outstanding research contributions. He is also the recipient of five ACM Distinguished Paper Awards and was runner-up for the 2015 ICSE Test-of-Time Award. His research focuses on deepening our understanding of how developers work with large, long-lived codebases and developing novel approaches to help them effectively evolve these systems while maintaining overall system quality. He has graduated over twenty students who have gone on to both academic and industrial positions.