Sustainable Software Engineering 🌱

CS4415 | Edition of 2021/22

Delft University of Technology   [MSc in Computer Science – Software Technology]

Sustainable Software Engineering is an overarching discipline that addresses the long-term consequences of designing, building, and releasing a software project. By definition, sustainability covers five main perspectives: environmental, social, individual, economic, technical. This course focuses on the first three.

Sustainability Domains

Software Engineering (SE) has long addressed sustainability by narrowing it down to economic and technical sustainability. However, our society is facing major sustainability challenges that can no longer be overlooked by software engineers and computer scientists. It was estimated that, by 2040, the ICT sector will contribute to 14% of the global carbon footprint. Hence, environmental, social, and individual ought to be part of the equation when it comes to design, build, and release software systems. The problem is far from simple, but we need expert computer scientists to bring sustainability into the core values of the next generation of tech-leading organisations.

This course will cover a set of competencies needed to leverage sustainable software systems. It will have a strong component on Green SE, covering techniques to measure and improve the energy-efficiency at any stage of the software lifecycle. Students will learn about state-of-the-art practices on energy efficiency and apply them in real software projects. Moreover, the course will cover core principles of empirical software engineering, and social and individual sustainability.


Course code CS4415
Brightspace 🔒
Instructors Luís Cruz, [Arie van Deursen]
Schedule Tuesdays 10:45, Thursdays 8:45, Fridays 10:45. 🔗 MyTimetable.
Mattermost 🔗 Sign-up link
ECTS 5.0
Quarter Q3
Format Classes are optimised for in-person attendance;
Online attendance is allowed in most classes.
Examination type Project 1 - Essay (30%); Project 2 - Software Repository and Essay (60%); Presentations (15%).
Target audience Students of the [M.Sc. in Computer Science].
Requirements - Intermediate understanding of OOP languages;
- Basic understanding of data analysis techniques.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:


⚠️ Please note: Recordings are only available to the students because they are not edited and may include students’ interactions.

Class Week Summary
1 1 Lecture. Course introduction. Sustainable Software: What, Why and How. 📊Slides 🎥Recording hybrid
2 1 Lecture. Social and Individual Sustainability in SE. hybrid 📊Slides
3 1 Paper Reading. Read and summarise research literature on Social and Individual SE Sustainability. hybrid/offline
4 2 Presentation. Present a summary of a research paper. hybrid
5 2 Lab. Measuring software energy consumption. Introduction to Project 1. 📊Slides 🎥Recording hybrid
6 2 Lecture. Green Software Engineering — Part I: units of energy. 📊Slides 🎥Recording hybrid
7 3 Project. Project 1 - steering meeting and formative assessment. online/in-person
8 3 Lecture. Green Software Engineering — Part II: Scientific guide for reliable energy measurements. 📊Slides 🎥Recording part2 hybrid
9 3 Lecture. Green Software Engineering — Part III: Energy efficiency in mobile computing; carbon-aware data centres. 📊Slides 🎥Recording hybrid
10 4 Project. Project 1 - steering meeting. online/in-person
11 4 Lecture. Green AI - 📊Slides. MSc Talk by Tim Yarally - 📊Slides. 🎥Recording hybrid
12 4 Guest Lecture. Saving energy in software development by making the right choices. Stefanos Georgiou. 📊Slides 🎥Recording online
13 5 Lecture. Empirical Software Engineering. .cancelled
14 5 Guest Lecture. The effect of design patterns on energy consumption. Daniel Feitosa. 📊Slides 🎥Recording in-person
15 5 Project. Project 2 - Description and kick-off. 📊Slides hybrid
16 6 Steering Meeting. online
17 7 Steering Meeting. hybrid
18 8 Steering Meeting. Formative assessment. hybrid
19 9 Presentation and Demos in-person


Below the description of each project.

📚 Literature Review

🛠 Project 1 Measuring Software Energy Consumption

🛠 Project 2 – Hacking Sustainability

Further reading (optional)

Interesting pointers