The Software Testing Research-Practice Disconnect

Based on my personal experience, I have observed a large disconnect between the fields of software testing research (the kind typically done at universities) and software testing practice (as performed by companies which actually produce software). The two groups involved — university researchers and software test engineers — seem particularly unaware of each other’s work. Well this isn’t very surprising I suppose, but I’m thinking that there should be some easy way for software testing researchers and practitioners to be learn about each other’s worlds. I speak at quite a few academic conferences and many of the research papers on software testing presented there are ridiculously out of touch with present or future reality, but on the other hand there are some papers that have really interesting and potentially really useful ideas. Now in theory at least, every academic conference looks for papers from practitioners — the "call for papers" almost always says something like, "The aim of the XYZ Conference is to bring together researchers and practitioners in an effort to highlight the state-of-the-art and to present and discuss ideas and experiences to explore new directions for blah, blah, blah." However, papers from practitioners are almost never accepted at academic conferences. One reason is that writing a good academic paper is really quite difficult. Academic researchers can spend years to produce a single paper, and you have to know the "secret ingredients" of an IEEE research paper content and format. Anyway, I’m rambling today; let me cut to the chase. I am the chair of the software testing track of the ITNG 2010 Conference and I’d love to see papers from practitioners, and I do not discriminate against authors who don’t have a Ph.D. degree. If you have an idea for a paper about software testing I can help you get the idea into a formal IEEE format. See for a description of the conference, and see for some tips about writing a research paper.
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