Felienne Hermans (@Felienne) is Ph. D student at the Delft University of Technology in the Software Engineering Research Group. She works in the PerPlex project which focuses on bringing together business and IT, in particular on extracting and visualizing information from spreadsheets.
Spreadsheets are widely used in industry, sometimes even for business-critical applications, but they can be large and complex, making it difficult for their users to understand how they work, and if they work correctly. Felienne has worked on a software system called Breviz that visualizes spreadsheet structure and shows the weak points in the spreadsheets design. Tests performed with professional spreadsheet users have for instance shown that the number of ranges, the nesting depth and the presence of conditional operations in formulas significantly increase the difficulty of understanding a spreadsheet.
She has presented her work on the International Conference on Software Engineering, and the annual conference of the European Spreadsheet Risk Group. A few months ago industry also started to notice Feliennes work, and that has been the spark to fire up Infotron, a Yes!Delft startup aimed at commercializing Breviz and hence supporting large companies in working with their spreadsheets in a smarter way.