Do we really know what we are building? Raising awareness of potential sustainability effects of software systems in requirements engineering
Paper in proceeding, 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.

Requirements Engineering


Socio-Technical Systems



Leticia Duboc

University Ramon Llull

Stefanie Betz

Furtwangen University (HFU)

Birgit Penzenstadler

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Sedef Akinli Kocak

Vector Institute for AI

Ruzanna Chitchyan

University of Bristol

Ola Leifler

Linköping University

Jari Porras

Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT)

Norbert Seyff

University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland

Colin C. Venters

University of Huddersfield

Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering

1090705X (ISSN) 23326441 (eISSN)

Vol. 2019-September 6-16 8920518
978-1-7281-3912-8 (ISBN)

2019 IEEE 27th International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE)
Jeju Island, South Korea,

Subject Categories

Software Engineering

Information Science

Information Systemes, Social aspects



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