Keynote & Forum



Professor Didar Zowghi is Deputy Dean of Graduate Research School and Professor of Software Engineering at University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She is also Adjunct Professor of Software Engineering at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. Previously, she has served as Director of Women in Engineering and Information Technology, Associate Dean Research, and the Director of the UTS research centre for Human-Centred Technology Design at UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT. Before becoming a full-time academic, she worked in the software industry both in the UK and Australia as a programmer, software engineer, systems analyst, consultant, and project manager.

Professor Zowghi's core research focuses on improving the software development processes and the quality of their products. In particular, she works on addressing important challenges in the communication rich, multidisciplinary activities of software development, often referred to as Requirements Engineering (RE). She has also conducted and supervised empirical field studies in Global Software Development, Technology Adoption, Web Technologies, Software Process Improvement, Service Oriented Computing, IoT, Smart Cities, Data Quality, Supply Chain, and Mobile Learning. Professor Zowghi is a member of the program committee of many national and international conferences including IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering (1998 to 2019), was its General Chair in 2010, Program Chair in 2015 and Steering Committee Chair (2016-2018). She is Associate Editor of IEEE Software and on the editorial board of Requirements Engineering journal and IET Software journal. She has supervised to completion many research students and has received competitive research grants of over $2.5 million from Australian Research Council and DEST International Science Linkage grants with China. She has published over 190 research articles in prestigious conferences and journals, as well as books and book chapters. She has co-authored articles with 90 different researchers from 30 countries.


Keynote Title: The Role of Users in Contemporary Software Development and Digital Transformation
User involvement in software development has been the subject of a plethora of research for over four decades and it is considered to play a pivotal role in user satisfaction thus leading to a successful outcome. Although much of the research on User Involvement (UI) in software development has revealed that involving users contributes positively to system success, it has also been observed that this participation is considered as a double-edged sword that can equally create problems rather than just benefits. UI is claimed to link to users' satisfaction with the resulting system, that in turn leads to the assertion of system success. However, much of the empirical evidence to date shows that this connection between UI and system success is not ubiquitous in the development of all digital transformations and across different domains, environments and platforms.
Digital Transformation (DT) is well recognised to be not just about technology but also about the people whose jobs and lives are to be transformed. The most important part of this transformation is a major change in processes and human behaviours. Even though products and services are changed into commodities, ultimately humans are the most critical asset in DT because they could be both the makers or breakers of change. This depends largely on how well they have been informed, involved and travelled in the journey for transformation. Most private enterprises and public institutions are heavily engaged in DT by leveraging combinations of digital technologies such as the cloud, data analytics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning software to improve service delivery to their customers or to streamline their internal operations. However, stories of DT failures have also emerged in abundance.
Since 2012, we have conducted empirical longitudinal studies of UI to explore: "what has been reported in the empirical research literature?" [1], "what are the problems and challenges of UI?" [2], "how does users' satisfaction with their involvement evolve over time?" [3], and "what useful theories could be developed to explain the link between UI and system success?" [4]. We have explored the alignment of stakeholder expectations about UI in agile software development [5], and a case study of UI in the context of organisational power and politics [6]. In this keynote, I will present the results of our studies and sketch a research agenda for the future of users' involvement in contemporary digital transformation projects.
[1] Bano M., Zowghi D., "A Systematic Review on the Relationship between User Involvement and System Success", the Journal of Information and Software Technology, Vol. 58, pp 148-169, 2015.
[2] Zowghi D., da Rimini F., Bano, M., "Problems and Challenges of User involvement in Software Development: an Empirical Study", Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE 15), Nanjing, China, April 2015.
[3] Bano M., Zowghi D., da Rimini F., "User Satisfaction and System Success: An Empirical Exploration of User Involvement in Software Development", Empirical Software Engineering Journal, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 2339–2372, October 2017
[4] Bano, M., Zowghi D., da Rimini, F. "User Involvement in Software Development: The Good, the Bad, and the ugly", IEEE Software, November/December 2018
[5] Bucan J., Bano M., Zowghi D., MacDonell S., Shinde A., "Alignment of Stakeholder Expectations about User Involvement in Agile Software Development", Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE 17), Karlskrona, Sweden, 2017.
[6] Bano M., Zowghi D., da Rimini F, "Power and Politics of User Involvement in Software Development", Proceedings of the 22nd The Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE) conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, 28-29 June 2018.


Dr Horst Lichter is Professor of Software Engineering and the Head of Software Construction Research Group, RWTH Aachen University. Professor Lichter does research many Software Engineering areas. His expertise includes software development, object-oriented programming, and software architecture among others. Some of the projects under him include continuous compliance management and digital lifestyle Germany-Malaysia. He has been leading the International Workshop on Quantitative Approaches to Software Quality (QuASoQ) as the co-located workshop at Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference (APSEC) for six years and now organising the 7th QuASoQ at the 26th APSEC 2019.

Dr Ken Chan is System Assurance Consultant at Orient SA Consulting Sdn. Bhd., professionally qualified and experienced Chartered Engineer with practical skills in project management, safety and assurance management, software and system engineering, and technical training within the railway, avionic, marine, and defence industries. This includes working in multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams with specific experiences in feasibility, design, implementation and assurance of complex control systems. Experience includes both work in the Hong Kong and overseas including UK, China, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Ken attained a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science, a Master Degree in Advance Software Engineering, and a Doctorate Degree in Safety Critical System. He started his career as a research assistant at the University of Teesside in 1994, then as a research associate at the University of York. Since leaving academy in 2000, he has worked as a consultant at DS&S (Roll Royce), CSE, Mott MacDonald, and Lloyds Register. Now currently as a System Assurance Consultant at Orient SA since 2009, specialising in management, training, assurance and assessment of safety critical and safety-related systems, and responsible for every aspect of the business management and performance.


Professor Dr. Shamsul Sahibuddin is the Chair of Malaysian Software Engineering Interest Group (MySEIG) that supports the software engineering initiatives in Malaysia. He serves as the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Kuala Lumpur Campus since 1 January 2018. He also serves as the Chairman of TC11 on Software Engineering Standard at SIRIM Berhad since 2000. He received his BSc in Computer Science from Western Michigan University, USA; MSc in Computer Science from Central Michigan University, USA; and PhD in Computer Science from Aston University, Birmingham, UK. He is a member of the steering committee for Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference (APSEC) since 2003. His research interests include computer supported cooperative work, requirements engineering, software process improvement and software quality.


Forum Title: Engineering Impactful Software for the Society towards IR4.0

The forum title is in line with APSEC 2019 aims that is to explore the impact of software engineering research towards the community with the theme “Engineering Impactful Software for the Society towards IR4.0”. Indeed, there is a need to create or innovate not only new techniques, approaches or methodologies in software engineering research and practice but also to measure their impact to the society who should gain the benefits from the innovations. Challenges in software engineering should also include how to realise the needs in creating software applications that also meet the fourth industrial revolution or IR4.0 where the symbiosis of human and technology is expected. Hence, the forum will provide a platform for the panel members to share their insights on the concerned issues that could stimulate interactive discussion with the delegates.