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ICSE 2020
Wed 24 June - Thu 16 July 2020
Thu 9 Jul 2020 08:35 - 08:45 at Goguryeo - I17-Contracts and Analysis Chair(s): Jaechang Nam

Smart contract, a term which was originally coined to refer to the automation of legal contracts in general, has recently seen much interest due to the advent of blockchain technology. Recently, the term is popularly used to refer to low-level code scripts running on a blockchain platform. Our study focuses exclusively on this subset of smart contracts. Such smart contracts have increasingly been gaining ground, finding numerous important applications (e.g., crowdfunding) in the real world. Despite the increasing popularity, smart contract development still remains somewhat a mystery to many developers largely due to its special design and applications. Are there any differences between smart contract development and traditional software development? What kind of challenges are faced by developers during smart contract development? Questions like these are important but have not been explored by researchers yet. In this paper, we performed an exploratory study to understand the current state and potential challenges developers are facing in developing smart contracts on blockchains, with a focus on Ethereum (the most popular public blockchain platform for smart contracts). Toward this end, we conducted this study in two phases. In the first phase, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 developers from GitHub and industry professionals who are working on smart contracts. In the second phase, we performed a survey on 232 practitioners to validate the findings from the interviews. Our interview and survey results revealed several major challenges developers are facing during smart contract development: (1) there is no effective way to guarantee the security of smart contract code; (2) existing tools for development are still very basic; (3) the programming languages and the virtual machines still have a number of limitations; (4) performance problems are hard to handle under resource constrained running environment; and (5) online resources (including advanced/updated documents and community support) are still limited. Our study suggests several directions that researchers and practitioners can work on to help improve developers’ experience on developing high-quality smart contracts.

Thu 9 Jul
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08:05 - 09:05: Paper Presentations - I17-Contracts and Analysis at Goguryeo
Chair(s): Jaechang NamHandong Global University
icse-2020-Software-Engineering-in-Practice08:05 - 08:15
Volker GruhnUniversity Duisburg-Essen, Niklas Spitczok von Brisinskiadesso AG
Demonstrations08:15 - 08:25
Zhiqiang YangOxford-Hainan Blockchain Research Institute, Han LiuTsinghua University, Yue LiOxford-Hainan Blockchain Research Institute, Huixuan ZhengOxford-Hainan Blockchain Research Institute, Lei WangOxford-Hainan Blockchain Research Institute, Bangdao ChenOxford-Hainan Blockchain Research Institute
icse-2020-Software-Engineering-in-Practice08:25 - 08:35
Cong WangTsinghua University, Mingrui ZhangTsinghua University, Beijing, China, Yu Jiang, Huafeng ZhangHuawei Technologies, Hangzhou, China, Zhenchang XingAustralia National University, Ming Gu
icse-2020-Journal-First08:35 - 08:45
Weiqin ZouNanjing University, David LoSingapore Management University, Pavneet Singh KochharMicrosoft, Xuan-Bach D. LeSingapore Management University, Singapore, Xin XiaMonash University, Yang FengNanjing University, Zhenyu ChenNanjing University, Baowen XuNanjing University
icse-2020-papers08:45 - 08:55
Thomas DurieuxKTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, João F. FerreiraINESC-ID and IST, University of Lisbon, Rui AbreuInstituto Superior Técnico, U. Lisboa & INESC-ID, Pedro CruzIST, University of Lisbon, Portugal
icse-2020-Journal-First08:55 - 09:05
Chang-ai SunUniversity of Science and Technology Beijing, An FuUniversity of Science and Technology Beijing, Pak-Lok PoonSchool of Engineering & Technology, Central Queensland University, Australia, Xiaoyuan XieSchool of Computer Science, Wuhan University, China, Huai LiuSwinburne University of Technology, Tsong Yueh ChenSwinburne University of Technology