Do we really know what we are building? Raising awareness of potential Sustainability Effects of Software Systems in Requirements Engineering

Leticia Duboc, Stefanie Betz, Birgit Penzenstadler, Sedef Akinli Kocak, Ruzanna Chitchyan, Ola Leifler, Jari Porras, Norbert Seyff, Colin Venters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

9 Citations (Scopus)
199 Downloads (Pure)


Integrating novel software systems in our society, economy, and environment can have far-reaching effects. As a result, software systems should be designed in such a way as to maintain or improve the sustainability of the sociotechnical system of their destination. However, a paradigm shift is required to raise awareness of software professionals on the potential sustainability effects of software systems. While Requirements Engineering is considered the key to driving this change, requirements engineers lack the knowledge, experience and methodological support for doing so. This paper presents a question-based framework for raising awareness of the potential effects of software systems on sustainability. A feasibility study of the framework use is carried out in two application cases with computer science students. The results indicate that the framework is helpful in enabling discussions between requirements engineers and other stakeholders, as well as for drawing insights on the potential chains-of-effects that software systems could have on sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication27th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-3912-8
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2019
EventIEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference - Ramada Plaza Jeju Hotel, Jeju Island, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
Duration: 23 Sep 201928 Sep 2019
Conference number: 27

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ... IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering.
ISSN (Electronic)2332-6441


ConferenceIEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference
Abbreviated titleRE 2019
CountryKorea, Democratic People's Republic of
CityJeju Island
Internet address


  • Sustainability
  • requirements engineering
  • impact assessment

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