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TechDebt 2018
Sun 27 - Mon 28 May 2018 Gothenburg, Sweden
co-located with ICSE 2018

Welcome to the website of TechDebt 2018.

Technical debt describes a universal software development phenomenon: design or implementation constructs that are expedient in the short term but set up a technical context that can make future changes more costly or impossible. Software developers and managers increasingly use the concept to communicate key tradeoffs related to release and quality issues. The goal of this two-day conference is to bring together leading software researchers, practitioners, and tool vendors to explore theoretical and practical techniques that manage technical debt.

The Managing Technical Debt workshop series has provided a forum since 2010 for practitioners and researchers to discuss issues related to technical debt and share emerging practices used in software-development organizations. A week-long Dagstuhl Seminar on Managing Technical Debt in Software Engineering has produced a consensus definition for technical debt, a draft conceptual model, and a research roadmap.

To accelerate progress, an expanded two-day working conference format has become essential. The inaugural edition of the TechDebt Conference will be held jointly with ICSE 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden, May 27–28, 2018. The conference is sponsored by ACM SIGSOFT and IEEE TCSE.


  • Eoin Woods will speak at the conference on The Past, Present and Future of Technical Debt.
  • The Call for Papers is announced
  • Join our mailing list to receive updates about TechDebt 2018.




Call for Papers

The First International Conference on Technical Debt will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, on May 27-28, 2018 collocated with ICSE 2018.

Technical debt is a metaphor that software developers and managers increasingly use to communicate key tradeoffs related to release and quality issues. The Managing Technical Debt workshop series had, since 2010, brought together practitioners and researchers to discuss and define issues related to technical debt and how they can be studied. Workshop participants reiterated the usefulness of the concept each year, shared emerging practices used in software development organizations, and emphasized the need for more research and better means for sharing emerging practices and results.

As the interest from our industry and academic researchers in Technical Debt has steadily grown, the workshop series has morphed into a full conference in 2018. Our goal for this conference on Technical Debt is to bring together leading software engineering researchers and practitioners for the purpose of exploring theoretical and practical techniques for managing technical debt.

Topics of interest

The following topics are aligned with the conference theme:

  • Identification of technical debt
  • Visualization of technical debt
  • Analysis of technical debt
  • Metrics for technical debt
  • Economic models for describing or reasoning about technical debt
  • Understanding causes and effects of technical debt
  • Relationship of technical debt to software evolution, maintenance, and aging
  • Relationship of technical debt with other activities, such as testing or requirement elicitation
  • The business case for technical debt management
  • Technical debt and software life-cycle management
  • Technical debt within a software ecosystem
  • Technical debt in designs and architecture
  • Technical debt in software models
  • Techniques and tools for calculating technical debt principal and interest
  • Concrete practices and tools used to measure and control technical debt
  • Education related to technical debt

Submission information

We invite submissions of papers in any areas related to the theme and goal of the conference in the following three categories:

  • Research Papers: describing innovative and significant original research in the field (up to 10 pages max.)
  • Industrial Papers: describing industrial experience, case studies, challenges, problems, and solutions (up to 10 pages max)
  • Short papers: Position and Future Trend Papers: describing ongoing research, new results (up to 5 pages max.)

Submissions must be original and unpublished work. Each submitted paper will undergo a rigorous review process by three members of the program committee. Submissions must be submitted online via the TechDebtConf2018 EasyChair conference management system and conform to the ACM formatting guidelines .

Upon notification of acceptance, all authors of accepted papers will be asked to complete an ACM Copyright form and will receive further instructions for preparing their camera ready versions. All accepted contributions will be published in the conference electronic proceedings. The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of ICSE 2018. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work. Purchases of additional pages in the proceedings is not allowed.

Accepted papers must be presented in person at the conference by one of the authors. Excellent papers will be considered for a Distinguished Paper Award from ACM Sigsoft.

Calendar for submission:

* January 15: Abstract submitted to EasyChair
* January 22: Full papers entered in EasyChair
* March 1: Notification of acceptance / rejection
* March 15: Camera ready submission of final paper
* May 27-28: Presentations

TechDebt 2018 is the first International Conference on Technical Debt. It brings together leading researchers and industry practitioners in this growing field. Industry plays a critical role in the understanding of the management, monitoring, and calculations of technical debt in real world situations, and as such, new techniques, methods and tools that can aid practitioners and decision makers in these critical tasks are cordially invited to participate at TechDebt 2018, to be held in conjunction with ICSE 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Submission format

Industry representatives interested in participating are encouraged to submit a letter of interest by January 5th, 2018 directly to Dr. Clemente Izurieta (clemente.izurieta@montana.edu).

In your letter please state how you will contribute. There are various ways to participate:

  • Submit an extended abstract (maximum of 2 pages). Abstracts are due on January 15th, 2018. Although extended abstracts are not peer reviewed, abstracts will be screened to ensure they meet the expectations of the tools track and are aligned with the overarching technical debt theme of the conference. In the abstract we suggest that authors address the purpose of the tool, its use in industry (if applicable), and its relevance to technical debt. Authors of accepted abstracts will be required to participate in a panel discussion.
  • Tools Paper. Abstracts are due on January 15th, 2018, and papers are due on January 22nd, 2018. The intent of this option is to give vendors an opportunity to communicate tool experiences (e.g., practice, prototype, experimental, or new research) in tools associated with technical debt. Submissions can be in the form of short, industrial or research papers as specified in the Call for Papers at https://2018.techdebtconf.org/track/TechDebt-2018-papers#Call-for-Papers. These papers will be peer reviewed and must be submitted through EasyChair. When you submit, make sure you specify “Vendor Tools” in the keywords section of your paper. Authors of accepted papers will be required to present their results.
  • Tool demonstration. If you propose to showcase a product from your company or organization, please let us know your power and space requirements.
  • Poster. A poster should describe a tool, or some aspect consistent with tools of the trade. Poster abstracts are due on January 15th, 2018. Posters will be screened to ensure they meet the expectations of the tools track and are aligned with the overarching technical debt theme of the conference.


All inquiries may be directed to clemente.izurieta@montana.edu

Keynote: The Past, Present, and Future of Technical Debt: Learning from the Past to Prepare for the Future

Speaker: Eoin Woods

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Eoin Woods is the CTO of Endava, a technology company that delivers projects in the areas of digital, agile, and automation. Prior to joining Endava, Eoin worked in the software engineering industry for 20 years, developing system software products and complex applications in the capital markets domain. His main technical interests are software architecture, distributed systems, and computer security, and he is the author of a book and a number of practitioner and research publications in these fields. Eoin can be contacted via his website at www.eoinwoods.info.

Philippe Kruchten University of British Columbia Program Co-chair
Frank Buschmann Siemens AG Program Co-chair
Esra Alzaghoul University of Jordan
Francesca Arcelli Fontana University of Milano Bicocca
Paris Avgeriou University of Groningen
Stephany Bellomo Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Ayse Bener Ryerson University
Terese Besker Chalmers University of Technology
Christian Bird Microsoft Research
Jan Bosch Chalmers University of Technology
Alexander Chatzigeorgiou University of Macedonia
Zadia Codabux Colby College
Robert Eisenberg Lockheed Martin
Hakan Erdogmus Carnegie Mellon University
Davide Falessi California Polytechnic State University
Steven Fraser Innoxec
Juan Garbajosa Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM)
Olivier Gaudin SonarSource
Johannes Holvitie University of Turku
Clemente Izurieta Montana State University
Andreas Jedlitschka Fraunhofer IESE
Sven Johann innoQ
Heiko Koziolek ABB Corporate Research
Ville Leppänen University of Turku
Jean-Louis Letouzey inspearit
Alan MacCormack Harvard
Antonio Martini Chalmers University of Technology
Grigori Melnik MongoDB
Andrew Meneely Rochester Institute of Technology
David Morgenthaler Google, Inc.
Ipek Ozkaya Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Jennifer Perez Technical University of Madrid (UPM)
Eltjo Poort CGI
Terri Potts Raytheon
Narayan Ramasubbu University of Pittsburgh
Gonzalo Rojas University of Concepcion
Klaus Schmid University of Hildesheim
Carolyn Seaman University of Maryland Baltimore County
Andriy Shapochka SoftServe Inc.
Emad Shihab Concordia University
Forrest Shull Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Will Snipes ABB Corporate Research
Wolfgang Trumler Siemens AG
Eberhard Wolff innoQ
Jesse Yli-Huumo Aalto University
Olaf Zimmermann University of Applied Sciences (HSR FHO)
Paris Avgeriou, University of Groningen
Philippe Kruchten, University of British Columbia
Robert L. Nord, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Ipek Ozkaya, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Carolyn Seaman, University of Maryland Baltimore County