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The Importance of Automation in Software Development

Ahmed Ayed

Carsten Fuhs and the importance of automation in software development

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The Importance of Automation in Software Development

About Dr. Carsten Fuhs and this TKS episode:

Dr. Carsten Fuhs is a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck, University of London. In this episode of The Know Show Podcast, we talk about his background, projects, and research. We will also cover the way automation is changing programming techniques, making them helpful instead of being a burden.

 

A brief synopsis:

Dr. Carsten Fuhs starts by recalling his studies in computer science in Germany and Valencia. One particular area that caught his attention was the automated program verification. He then describes his research, where his goal is to improve the quality of software programs, to make the work of software developers easier. The main outcome of his research is to help programs have fewer errors, to work better, and to also reduce the costs of constantly fixing these errors.

Automation changes the formal techniques from being a burden to something that can be helpful for developers, and also to move beyond what the law requires from them.

Dr. Carsten Fuhs

 

The discussion focuses on the software that Dr. Carsten Fuhs developed with his team. He talks about the way they have developed two programs to help educate people about computer science. One program is written by the teacher, and the second one by the student. The analysis program checks whether, for all possible inputs, the two programs will have the same output. Though it provides positive results, Carsten suggests that it has some limitations. For example, it doesn’t always give an answer. He explains how this is a work in process.

He goes on to discuss computer cores, explaining what they are, and highlighting the present day problems of using more than one computing core at a time. He shows this to be a gap in research in the field of computer science, that he is addressing, and which will have benefits for  both software developers and average users:

Programmers write programs that run on a single computer core. But we would like to use them all, not just one of them. Writing programs that run correctly on several computing cores as a programmer is complicated. What we would like to do is to help software developers in developing better tools that would allow us to use the full capability of new computers.

Dr. Carsten Fuhs

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TKS take home points:

In this TKS episode, Hussain and Carsten talk about the possibilities and the benefits of automation in software development. Though the domain has some limitations, he is working hard to overcome them and offer better products. When widely applied, this research will have far reaching effects, for example, improving technical and economic processes throughout society. 

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