Helping SEMAT community to grow and be more transparent

SEMAT stands for Software Engineering Method and Theory. It has been designed by Ivar Jacobson, the co-author of UML, Use Case methodology and Rational Unified Process. The project is pretty big and has many parts and I’m sure it will influence the software engineering world a great deal.

Here are the parts I can understand:

  • (academic part) there is an effort in SEMAT to create a solid grounding for the software engineering. For example there are dozens of processes and methodologies for software engineering: what do they have in common? 
  • (practical part) SEMAT provides a framework to quickly analyse the software project from product point of view. What is the current state of the the requirements: do they formalized or maybe already satisfied? Do we know all the stakeholders of the product? What is the current state of engineering Team? And so on.

Of course I like the practical part more. In fact I’ve totally fallen in love with the thing and want it to be known to the whole world. Because of that when I met Ivar Jacobson at the presentation in Moscow I immediately asked him how do they want to advertise SEMAT.

It turned out that they wanted to do the following:

  • present SEMAT on academic events and publish papers to reach the academic world. Because of that parts of SEMAT wil have a chance to be taught at more universities.
  • contact the big enterprises and propose them to try SEMAT in practice. These case studies will show how efficient the methodology is and bring more practical professional to SEMAT camp
  • publish in good practical journals like ACM and IEEE journals to reach some part of engineering community

… and that’s it. “But hey, listen, what about reaching the simple folks? They don’t work in IBM and don’t read IEEE journals. They don’t know about CMMI or RUP and really think that it’s Alan Cooper who have brought the most powerful ideas into software design. They read Joel on software and Wired and hackernews and Reddit. How do you plan to reach them?” Well, there wasn’t much of the plan, mostly because of generation gap. And here it seems I can help.

I’ve interviewed the most active members of SEMAT community and together we’ve created this list of goals. So with SEMAT community we want to:

  • become more transparent
  • become more open for the new ideas
  • convert the potential of supporters to the actual force
  • reach more people and advertise ourselves in academia, enterprise AND SIMPLE FOLKS
  • reach more younger people
  • organize those people in a self-supportive community that can do things useful for SEMAT

To reach some of these goals I decided to start from actions that require almost no effort but will produce the big effect:

Semat community actions

  • create a medium where the people can ask questions and communicate. After some trials I’ve chosen Nabble mailing list for that
  • another option is LinkedIn group which have existed before but have been private
  • start working on the guidelines for transparency and openness for the community members
  • gather all the existing materials such as presentations, papers, articles, book chapters

Moving on! This post is only a start, I’ll try to describe more my adventures as community  manager. Let’s see if I can improve SEMAT community working on that for 1-2 hours a day!