ACCS Personal Software Engineering Discussion Group

ACCS Personal Software Engineering Discussion Group Weekly Meeting
5th November in room 78.622 (General Purpose South) at 1.45pm

Afternoon tea will be served at 1:45.

Title: Microsoft Office uses and abuses
Speaker: Ariel Liebman

In this informal discussion group I will outline the different ways
software tools (with a special focus on office productivity tools
such as MS Office) are used in a commercial environment and then
attempt to distill a set of principle for future designs of such
tools which will reduce the “abuse” of these tools. The term abuse
refers to the overuse of spreadsheets, the use of Visual Basic for
Applications by non-software engineering trained people and so forth.

I will, in particular I will focus on the way tools such as MS Excel
and Access are used, integrated with more robust tools such as Matlab,
Oracle and other databases, in the context of electricity trading and
risk management in corporate environments. These usage patterns also
apply in the investment banking industry and other financial services

Each session starts with a short talk (~25 min.) by a developer,
which describes current or past work, and gives a personal critique of
the usefulness of the software engineering process employed.

An open discussion will follow the talk, during which the attendees
will be able to ask questions, make suggestions, or debate the merits of
various tools and techniques.

Proceeding each talk, coffee and tea (as well as biscuits) will be
available to improve attention, and encourage attendance.

The central goal of the discussion group is to facilitate sharing of
software engineering expertise between developers and provide exposure
to new methodologies and techniques. Our aim is to increase the level of
software engineering expertise among complex systems modelers.

Talk topics may vary widely: the use of a design notation; the
effectiveness of a particular tool; a description of current or past
programming work; or a personal critique of the usefulness of a software
engineering technique used.

We are calling for people interested in presenting to the group to come
along to the meeting on Monday or send us a short abstract and likely

We also need interested participants to come along and share in the

If you have any questions or comments please contact:
Daniel Bradley
Leighton Brough


World-class basic and applied inter-disciplinary research on questions fundamental to understanding, designing and managing complex systems
© 2009 The ARC Centre for Complex Systems, Australia