The Unbearable Fragility of Software Documentation


Professor Martin Robillard
McGill University, Canada


Software documentation is possibly one of the most fragile of human constructions: Changing a single line in the documented software can invalidate its documentation. Yet we do need software documentation, sometimes crucially. In this talk I will discuss what makes software documentation so fragile, and how we could get rid of this fragility by rethinking the role that documentation plays in the life-cycle of a software system.

Speaker’s Bio

Martin Robillard is a Professor of Computer Science at McGill University. His current research focuses on problems related to software evolution, architecture and design, and software reuse. He served as the Program Co-Chair for the 20th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE 2012) and the 39th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2017). He received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia and a B.Eng. from École Polytechnique de Montréal