Challenges and opportunities of software engineering in the development of software solutions for the elderly

Challenges and opportunities of software engineering in the development of software solutions for the elderly


The technological, social and economic changes of recent decades, as well as demographic trends, point to a significant population of older adults, with particular needs to integrate into the world through technology. The majority of today’s older adults are poorly informed and comfortable with current software technologies, have little confidence in them, and have difficulties in their selection, installation, learning and use. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that notoriously, these solutions were not built with them in mind. Although, some of this is changing, as generations are renewed with older people who previously had some contact with technology. However, it remains a challenge because visual, auditory and mobility skills are deteriorating, as are memory and information management, which are key to learning and adopting technologies. On the other hand, the new generations that face software development, stay away from the situations that older adults live and prepare most of the products for younger people, they also have not always correct ideas about older adults, which prevent them from benefiting from their points of view, which would be of great value for the development of their solutions. Therefore, the need to develop tools and solutions so that these older adults can become part of the digital network, it is necessary to situate software engineering when it requires working in this context, both in aspects of software products and software process. For example, in the human computer interaction, in the way in which the requirements must be worked, the software tests, the architectural restrictions of integration and adaptation of the most used environments and applications. The idea is, then, to face challenges in which older adults actively participate in the development of their own software solutions so that finally, these are useful, appropriate and trendy for this sector of the population. This talk reflects on a set of challenges and opportunities that software engineering must face and take advantage of, respectively, if its development focus is on solutions for older adults.


Full Name: Julio Ariel Hurtado
Filiation: University of Cauca – Colombia


Julio Ariel Hurtado is an Electronics and Telecommunications Engineer from the Universidad del Cauca (1997), Specialist in Software Development Processes from the Universidad San Buenaventura (2002) and PhD in Computer Science from the Universidad de Chile (2012). His areas of interest are development processes, architectures and software reuse. In recent years he has been researching the development of computational thinking and aspects related to process design and situational collaborative methods in different scenarios of software construction.