Paper by Serebrenik wins the ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award at ICSE 2023


“‘STILL AROUND’: Experiences and Survival Strategies of Veteran Women Software Developers” by Sterre van Breukelen (previously at Eindhoven University of Technology), Ann Barcomb (University of Calgary), Sebastian Baltes (The University of Adelaide), and Alexander Serebrenik (Eindhoven University of Technology) has been awarded with an ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award.

In this study, the authors conducted 14 interviews to examine the experiences of people at this intersection, primarily women, in order to discover the strategies they employed in order to successfully remain in the field. They identified 283 codes, which fell into three main categories: Strategies, Experiences, and Perception. Several strategies we identified, such as (Deliberately) Not Trying to Look Younger, were not previously described in the software engineering literature. The authors found that, in some companies, older women developers are recognized as having particular value, further strengthening the known benefits of diversity in the workforce. Based on the experiences and strategies, the authors suggest organizations employing software developers to consider the benefits of hiring veteran women software developers. For example, companies can draw upon the life experiences of older women developers in order to better understand the needs of customers from a similar demographic. While the authors recognize that many of the strategies employed by our study participants are a response to systemic issues, they still consider that, in the short-term, there is benefit in describing these strategies for developers who are experiencing such issues today.

The full paper is available here