ICSME has only twice before repeated city locations, Monterey in 1983 and 1996 on the Pacific coast, and Montreal in 1993 and 2002 in Canada. It is particularly fitting then that we return to both the Pacific coast and Canada for the 30th event, in Victoria, exactly 20 years since it was last held there in 1994.
Much has changed since the early days of the conference to become a cornerstone of what is now a weeklong series of co-located events. The name itself has been a case of change. The conference began in 1983 as the Software Maintenance Workshop. For the second event, in 1985, it became known as the Conference on Software Maintenance (CSM). In 1994, it became ICSM (prepending an “I” for “International”) and in 2014, it became ICSME (appending an “E” for “Evolution”). Indeed, the conference always had a new name by the time it revisited a city. Yet, what remains constant is that the event is the premier international conference for research and practice in software maintenance and evolution, providing the supportive and stimulating conditions to advance the discipline.
But, how did all this start? It is too easy to lose sight of the early pioneers and organizers of the conference, who played instrumental roles in the formative decade of the field. To name a few, Norm Schneidewind saw the crucial role of software maintenance in providing quality software, and chaired the first event, which had over 260 attendees from diverse institutions around the world. Robert Arnold also helped to organize the conference, and his 1993 compendium of landmark software reengineering papers provided a foundation and tutorial for the discipline. Nicholas Zvegintzov, of Software Maintenance News, Inc., provided a series of tutorials and technology guides for software change and maintenance. All three reported on the first event in the November 1984 issue of the Communications of ACM. Ned Chapin published several reports on early CSM conferences. Many of the challenges recognized then still endure even today.
A few pioneers of the first decade still contribute to and attend the conference regularly. Many are now retired or have other interests. For the 30th conference, it is a particularly apt time to recognize their contributions, take a retrospective look at where we have been, and envision the road ahead to address future software challenges. This moderated panel session has several software maintenance and evolution pioneers who were able to attend ICSME 2014. Two of them are also from the very first steering committee, elected in 1991. The panelists include: Vaclav Rajlic, Malcolm Munro, Ned Chapin, and Lee White; Roger Martin, Robert Arnold, Nicholas Zvegintzov, Victor Basili and Dieter Rombach may also participate. They will present their view of the software maintenance and evolution field from their historical perspective.