Dear SIGSPL community and friends,
as you know, in our Special Interest Group we deal with the idea of how SPL – Software Production Lines – might look like in near future. From the business analysis point of view, we work on modeling the corresponding domain specific Value Chain.
We acknowledge findings by the classical mass production industry, like Lean Manufacturing (understood as Agile/Lean IT) or SCM, Supply Chain Management (being adopted as well). Learning from the industry is a very exciting and challenging process!
To address the challenges of this learning process in a more systematic way, we propose to become more conscious in utilizing the domain language and terminology from recent findings in industrial research to make interdisciplinary work and knowledge exchange easier.
In this article series, we start moving in this direction by undertaking the following steps, and warmly invite readers and influencers to discuss for better alignment between many experts and thoght leaders:
- assess the term industrial revolution and look at it from the Software Engineering point of view (part 1);
- review current plans and activities of the German government towards igniting the 4th industrial revolution (part 2);
- identify and transfer useful core ideas of the Industry 4.0 domain to the domain of Software Engineering (part 3).
So what is the 4th industrial revolution?
The official known usage of this term originates from a high-tech strategy project by the German government back 2011, aimed to promote computerization of manufacturing. According Wikipedia, Industry 4.0 is a “collective term embracing a number of contemporary automation, data exchange and manufacturing technologies”.
Terms “computerization” and “data exchange” imply that chances are big that some software also plays a role behind the scenes. The most amazing thing about the modern (prior to the rising DevOps era) software engineering however is that at physical level it introduces many manual workflows, which are required to move and assemble all sorts of digital artefacts along the value chain towards the ready product. In the latest management speak, the business processes in software engineering teams introduce a very low level of digitalization – ironic as our Universe actually is!