Ewan Tempero – Executive Member, SI^NZ

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SESA coders
Members of the University of Auckland Software Engineering Student Association (SESA) wearing the “Code” logo t-shirt


Ewan Tempero is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Auckland, New Zealand. He graduated from the University of Otago, New Zealand, with a B.Sc., (Honours) in Mathematics in 1983 and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington, USA, in 1990.

He has published over 170 papers in journals and internationally-refereed conferences, mainly in the areas of software design quality, software reuse, software metrics, and computer science education. He is an active member of the ITP IEEE Computer Society, and the ACM.

Ewan is interested in all aspects of the creation of software products. His main research is investigating how to reliably and objectively assess the quality of software designs. Poor design choices usually lead to higher total cost of ownership of the software product, usually in terms of higher costs for making future changes. Identifying poor choices, or even better, avoiding making them in the first place, would reduce costs and improve productivity. Ewan uses code analysis techniques to identify what design choices developers have made and uses this to understand what the consequences of those choices are. He also uses empirical study techniques such as surveys and interviews to determine how developers made design decisions.

To support his research, Ewan has created the Qualitas Corpus, a curated collection of open-source Java systems that is used by researchers around the world.

Ewan had his recent research “Barriers to refactoring” featured by the Communications of the ACM (CACM) in October 2017, which discusses a large-scale survey of 3,785 practitioners that uncovers situations in which they do, and do not, refactor, see YouTube video below.

When not analysing code or teaching future software engineerings, Ewan can be found in the Dojo practicing Goju-Ryu Karate (see images below).

Perhaps the best testimony to how ardently students respect and admire Ewan is the “Code” logo designed by one of his ex-students, SunKee Hong, which is also available as t-shirts worn by the members of the Software Engineering Student Association (SESA) as seen in the photo banner above, spot Ewan 🙂


UoA Karate Club
Ewan Karate Training