Do we really know what we are building? Raising awareness of potential sustainability effects of software systems in requirements engineering
Paper in proceedings, 2019
Integrating novel software systems in our society, economy, and environment can have far-reaching effects. As a result, software systems should be designed in such a way as to maintain or improve the sustainability of the socio-technical system of their destination. However, a paradigm shift is required to raise awareness of software professionals on the potential sustainability effects of software systems. While Requirements Engineering is considered the key to driving this change, requirements engineers lack the knowledge, experience and methodological support for doing so. This paper presents a question-based framework for raising awareness of the potential effects of software systems on sustainability, as the first step towards enabling the required paradigm shift. A feasibility study of the framework was carried out with two groups of computer science students. The results of the study indicate that the framework helps enable discussions about potential effects that software systems could have on sustainability.