Software research pioneers new concept

A research paper co-authored by Dr Cornelius Ncube from BU’s Software Systems Research Centre is pioneering a new software systems development concept.

‘Opportunistic Software Systems Development (OSSD): Making Systems from What’s Available’ was written by BU’s Dr Ncube and Patricia Oberndorf of the Software Engineering Institute.

It was recently peer-reviewed for the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Software Journal. The journal is read by members of the IEEE, of which there are over 365,000 in 150 countries.

The international paper describes the concept of OSSD as “…akin to recent television shows in the UK (Scrapheap Challenge) and the US (Junkyard Wars ), where competing teams are given a capability they must implement using only what’s available at a junkyard or scrap heap, a set of appropriate tools for integrating the pieces, and their own wits and innovation.

OSSD is in some ways the new Junkyard Wars: making new capabilities out of useful software that’s at hand, applying innovative but effective engineering.”

Describing the research paper, Dr Ncube said: “It proposes a radical approach to software systems development in which the major emphasis is on smart engineering, creativity, innovation and the most imaginative ways of gluing together seemingly unrelated software pieces to provide interoperable and maintainable systems that meet users’ needs.”