Informatics Seminar Series
Winter Quarter 2021

Friday, February 5, 2021

“A Tale of Two Cities: Working from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

*ISR Distinguished Speaker Series

Thomas Zimmermann
Sr. Principal Researcher
Microsoft Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world to its core and has provoked an overnight exodus of software developers who normally worked in an office setting to working from home. In this talk, I will present the results of several studies at Microsoft on how software developers and their teams have been affected by this change. I will discuss benefits and challenges of remote work and how they impacted productivity during the pandemic. I will discuss opportunities on how to improve remote work and implications for future hybrid work.

Thomas Zimmermann is a Sr. Principal Researcher in the Productivity and Intelligence (P+I) and Software Analysis and Intelligence (SAINTes) groups at Microsoft Research. His professional interests are software engineering, data science, and recommender systems. He is best known for his research on systematic mining of version archives and bug databases to conduct empirical studies and to build tools to support developers and managers. At Microsoft, he uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate and overcome software engineering challenges. His current work is on productivity of software developers and data scientists at Microsoft. In the past, he analyzed data from digital games, branch structures, and bug reports.

His work received several awards, including seven Ten Year Most Influential Paper awards at ICST’20, ESEC/FSE’19, ICSME’18, MSR’17, MSR’15, MSR’14, and ICSE’14 as well as five ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Awards. He received the IEEE CS TCSE Distinguished Service Award for his service to the community and the IEEE CS TCSE New Direction Award for co-founding the mining software repositories field. He has served on many program committees (for example, ICSE, ESEC/FSE, ECOOP, OOPSLA, ISSTA, MSR, and ESEM) and reviewed grant proposals for NSF and NSERC. He was Program Co-chair for MSR’10, MSR’11, ICSME’17 and ESEC/FSE’20. He served as General Chair for MSR’13, SIGSOFT FSE’16 and ASE’19. He is Co-Editor in Chief for the Empirical Software Engineering journal and previously served on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering and IEEE Software. He is the Chair of ACM SIGSOFT, the Special Interest Group on Software Engineering.

He is a Distinguished Member of the ACM and an IEEE Fellow for his “contributions to data science in software engineering, research and practice.” He received his PhD in 2008 from Saarland University in Germany. From 2007 to 2008 he was a full-time Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University of Calgary. His h-index is 67 and he has been cited 18,000+ times according to Google Scholar. His homepage is Follow him on Twitter @tomzimmermann.

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