Sunday, May 22, 2011

Unsolicited and uninformed rant about Software Engineering Research

Jorge Aranda interviewed industry professionals regarding their opinions of software engineering research. Needless to say I wasn't asked, and also needless to say I'll shoot my mouth off anyway. As with most of the interviewees, my knowledge of software engineering research goes little beyond Brooks' classic papers. Despite my reduced exposure, the impression I have of S.E. research is less then stellar. I have a feeling that a lot of the research tries to be too helpful, and ends up lacking in enlightenment.

It seems the goal is often to evaluate a certain practice in order to recommend it or not to the industry. I find this goal suspect for a number of reasons: the definition of success is too context bound (e.g. some environments value fast feedback while others value more a well crafted user experience), the measures of project success may mislead, some practices can help at certain parts of a project and hinder at different parts, people respond differently to different incentives, personal preferences play a major factor, etc. Perhaps Cockburn's "Characterizing people as non-linear first-order components in software development" helps to explains my uncertainty.

I'm not writing just to complain that research I'm not familiar with goes about the wrong way. I'm also writing to offer unsolicited advice regarding what the aforementioned research should do. In a nutshell, I would like to learn more about programmers, teams, and culture. Research about programmers could investigate stuff like correlation between psychological attributes and professional attributes (e.g. are people with certain personality profiles more attracted to some kinds of software than others), differences in thinking processes between programmers doing different kinds of work, differences in the work of programmers that have been doing the same thing for an extended amount of time versus programmers with a more diverse career, etc.

Research about teams could look into communication patterns (how and when they tend to take place, not which are more "effective" than others), how people react to homogeneous versus heterogeneous skill-set compositions, how the amount of time spent as a team affects the work (not just wrt productivity), at what team sizes people tend to jell into cliques (and what other factors are in play in the process), how the physical layout affects the communication (again, not trying to find "optimal placements"), ...

The "culture" part may seem a strange focus for software engineering research, but I would enjoy reading anthropological accounts of the differences an similarities between behaviours of the different programming cultures: systems programming, the smalltalk/OOPSLA/XP culture, lispers, modern large-scale web development, game developers, etc. The very question of whether it is meaningful to apply the word "culture" here would be worthy investigating.

Anyway, the particulars aren't important, I just want to emphasize the most interesting research, from my point of view, is the one that tries to understand, not merely to optimze.


Edit: Jorge Aranda commented to point out the interviews were conducted by a team including himelf, Margaret-Anne Storey, Marian Petre, and Daniela Damian.

117 comments:

Jonas Abreu said...

Hey Ferreira,

I'm into some of the subjects. Wanna grab a beer sometime and talk about it?

Paul said...

I think the real problem is the overloaded term, "Software Engineering." You seem to be focusing on a rather small piece of software engineering (process).

The focus of software engineering is the construction, delivery, and deployment of "systems of systems", and the managerial aspects in producing those systems.

Software architecture, requirements elicitation and specification, validation and verification, formal and semi-formal methods, software and system evolution, software project management, and Software development life cycles are all fair game for research.

Dependable systems, distributed systems, autonomic computing, software artifact identification and extraction, and reverse engineering are also fair game.

Much of what is commonplace in software development today came from research in all of these fields.

It appears like you're only looking at "research" being published by industrial labs or reported in Software Developer Times. Rather, you should look at leading journals and conferences for substantial research in the field.

I agree though, despite software engineering being concerned with the human/person piece of software development, one has to hope that researches in cognitive psychology, behavioral science, and communication attributes and theories within certain processes, focus on our industry for relevant and influential information.

Paul deGrandis
http://www.pauldee.org
http://www.pauldee.org/blog

Anonymous said...

"I just want to emphasize the most interesting research, from my point of view, is the one that tries to understand, not merely to optimze."

Great point, Rafael, and great post overall. I should say that a lot of current research tries to do just that (to understand), though this was not the case some ten years ago. I think our community is becoming a bit more humble. Perhaps in its earlier times it did not recognize that its idea of software development was completely misguided, and it has taken lots of time to recognize that we don't really know much that we should know about what goes on in software organizations, and to rectify this.

I also must point out that it was a bunch of us doing the interviews you refer to besides myself: Margaret-Anne Storey, Marian Petre, and Daniela Damian.

--Jorge Aranda

Unknown said...

@catenary I will try to look into more recent software engineering research, perhaps Greg Wilson's Making Software will be a good first step?

I updated the post to mention the team doing the interviews.

Thanks for the comment.

Unknown said...

@paul
Indeed I was applying a narrow interpretation of the term "software engineering" and my concerns don't necessarily apply to the broader view. A view so broad, in fact, that it makes it hard to say anything about it in general.

James Franklin said...

Reverse engineering allows seeing what is existing. Reverse engineering can produce any existing products such as any parts, structures, or processes that could benefit communities in other ways. If you are searching for the best reverse engineering service then you can visit Onsite3D website. Reverse engineering Denver, Colorado

5280Software said...

A lot of valuable information can be derived from the post. 5280 Software, LLC is a team of highly trained professionals providing mobile ios app development Denver services at the affordable prices.

NOTO SOLUTIONS said...

I really want to thank the author for such an amazing blog that explained me the importance of Software Engineering Research. You can consult us for Dating App Development for more information.

shwethapriya said...

Interesting blog. Got a lotb of information about this technology.
pearson vue
french courses in chennai
Blockchain Training in Chennai
Ionic Training in Chennai 
Hadoop Admin Training in Chennai
best german classes in chennai
Best Informatica Training in Chennai

Joseph Mikel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aaronnssd said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I will share it with my other friends as the information is really very useful. Keep sharing your excellent work. custom software development services

Laura Bush said...

Great job for publishing such a nice article. Your article isn’t only useful but it is additionally really informative. Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. Best Engineering College India

Joseph Mikel said...

I read your post and got it quite informative. I couldn't find any knowledge on this matter prior to. I would like to thanks for sharing this article here. smvec is one of the Top Engineering College In Pondy.

p3dev said...

This information is meaningful and magnificent which you have shared here about the software application development. I am impressed by the details that you have shared in this post and It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. I would like to thanks for sharing this article here.

Interharex Consulting Engineers said...

This is one of the best website for Mechanical Engineers with complete guidance about courses, careers, education, projects and companies. You can consult engineering consulting firms Sydney for a wide range of services.

KPL Tech said...

This is truly a great source of details, I will certainly typically follow it to know even more information and also expand my expertise, I assume every person ought to know it, many thanks. Get more info about best power bi dashboards

Go Smart Solutions said...

Thank you for such useful informations. You can also checkout our best services of learning management system Saudi Arabia.

shahdkhan said...

install notepad++ from notepadplusplusdownload.com/

Initprise LLC said...

Nice article, Which you have shared here about the software development. Your article is very informative and useful to know more about the Software Engineering. Thanks for sharing this article here. software development company Phoenix

Janitorial Manager said...

Very well written article. It was awesome article to read. Complete rich content and fully informative. If anyone looking for the janitorial software programs online, janitorialmanager is the best choice.

Go Smart Solutions said...

I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post.Get for more information mobile app development company

dawnwacker said...

i love reading this article so beautiful!!great job! software günstig

Anonymous said...

You might comment on the order system of the blog. You should chat it's splendid. Your blog audit would swell up your visitors. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! weather station

Logan Jack said...

I’d have to check with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment! iphone device template

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for ding the impressive job here, everyone will surely like your post. remote team management

Bandile Kungawo said...

Utterly composed subject material , thanks for selective information . tablet mockup

Total Jerk Face said...

Great work man you have post a great post it will help people very much keep it do more for people like that iPhone 11 repair.

Yousufzai said...

Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for! macbook psd

James jones said...

Thank your for share. I hope you will share again. laptop mockup

jhone than said...

Largest lover messages were made to share it with your and gives honour of the bride and groom. Very sound systems facing unnecessary throngs of people should take into account each of our valuable concept of all presenting, which is one’s trailer. best man toasts android phone template

Hetuwa Duminda said...

I really love the theme on your website, I run a web site , and i would adore to use this theme. Is it a free style, or is it custom? android mockup psd

relxindo said...

our mission is to provide Innovative & Optimum Solution with an edge of technology offerings to find the most effective and affordable fit, that help our customers meet their needs of having a high performing, reliable, manageable and cost effective networks. vacuum pump manufacturers in mumbai

relxindo said...

I’d always want to be update on new content on this site, saved to bookmarks ! . pneumatic linear actuators

jamuna said...

Excellent post and it is really useful for most of the freshers.
Ionic Training in Chennai
Ionic Corporate Training
german classes
Best IELTS Coaching in Chennai
learn Japanese in Chennai
top 10 ielts coaching in chennai
best spoken english institute in chennai
TOEFL Coaching Centres in Chennai
content writing course in chennai
spanish coaching in chennai
Ionic Training in Porur
Ionic Training in OMR

Anonymous said...

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! free stresser

khanabaaz said...

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback. best app design companies

Hetuwa Duminda said...

Cool article it's really. Friend on mine has long been awaiting just for this content. top app development companies

sdexter said...

Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers! website design

sdexter said...

Thanks for this post, I am a big fan of this website would like to go on updated. web design tips

Stream Line said...

I really treasure your piece of work, Great post. ui/ux designer

albina N muro said...

Very useful info. Hope to see more posts soon!. buy insta likes

Stream Line said...

Simply a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great style and design . ui ux design

Daniel Bryan said...

I read this blog very carefully, the articles were very nice I got lots of benefits from articles, I have a website related to this, if you want you can visit this website, believe will benefit, thanks.
website development new york

sdexter said...

I have been reading out many of your blog and i must say pretty good stuff. I will surely bookmark your site front end development company

E-commerce Web Development said...

You there, this is a really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming.

tike mik said...

Excellent to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Rightly, this article that I've been served for therefore long. I want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and it has the same topic together with your article. Thanks for the ton of valuable help, nice share. MULTIMEDIA 1507G New Software 2020

mayazoe said...

hgf

mtom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mtom said...

oprah also makes some good book reviews, i always wait for the book reviews of oprah. Aplikasi Akuntansi

Jeson Devid said...

I'm planar by your table make up the superior production. IT Support London

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TechMatrite said...

Entry mistakes disappear, as do imports and exports or spreadsheets. download google input tool offline

Distributor Vinyllantai said...

A really exciting examine, I may possibly not concur entirely, but you do make some really legitimate points. 파워볼사이트



*---------------------------------


you have a excellent weblog here! do you want to earn some invite posts in this little weblog? 토토사이트

Unknown said...

I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase. text to speech video creation

zeltrack zeltrack said...

There are a few fascinating points soon enough here but I don’t determine if I see every one of them center to heart. There is certainly some validity but I am going to take hold opinion until I take a look at it further. Good write-up , thanks therefore we want much more! Included with FeedBurner also 먹튀

Mtom said...

Hello, Neat post. There is a problem with your site in internet explorer, might check this… IE still is the market chief and a big component of folks will omit your fantastic writing due to this problem. 먹튀

Mtom said...

This can be a remarkably amazing powerful resource that you’re offering and you simply provide it away cost-free!! I comparable to discovering websites ones comprehend the particular importance of supplying you with a excellent learning resource for zero cost. We truly dearly loved examining these pages. Appreciate it! Laptop Software

Panel Surya Jakarta said...

Nice post. I understand some thing tougher on distinct blogs everyday. Most commonly it is stimulating to learn to read content from other writers and employ a little something there. I’d opt to apply certain together with the content in my blog whether you do not mind. Natually I’ll provide a link on your web weblog. Thanks for sharing. Easeus data recovery software

Dominick said...

When you need the best development for your website at that time you can navigate to this web-site because after seeing their sample works you may appreciate their work style and you'll love this. So there is no doubt that you can get the best development for your websites.

Retaile Ecaper said...

I am always thought about this, appreciate it for posting . POS Software

dk said...

This really is both equally a very good information when i rather definitely preferred verifying. This may not be at all times i always get likely to see a challenge. fateh soft

Jennet said...

Bespoke Software development is normally considered as being inseparable from custom development, fundamentally in light of the fact that the development cycle includes planning the application to address the issues of the particular business, huge association or other client. outsourcing it support

토토사이트 said...

When did you start writing articles related to 먹튀검증사이트? To write a post by reinterpreting the I used to know is amazing. I want to talk more closely about , can you give me a message?

Ghazi said...

Have you checked out this naming firm? They now have an online course on creating super sticky brand names. Also, They help you be confident in generating your own names. Email Extractor

Unknown said...

Numerous difficulties are holding up in your manner and conquering them would be very basic for you, on the off chance that you become an educated person.TutuApp web

Faith Center said...

Very well written article. It was an awesome article to read. Complete rich content and fully informative. I totally Loved it. churches open in atlanta ga

Architec said...

I have been browsing on-line more than three hours these days, yet I by no means found any interesting article like yours. It¡ beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the net will likely be much more helpful than ever before. repair tracking software

burkkevin said...

You can do very creative work in a particular field. Exceptional concept That was incredible share. Cassian Andor Jacket

William Jessie said...

A very delightful article that you have shared here.3PL WMS Software Your blog is a valuable and engaging article for us, and also I will share it with my companions who need this info. Thankful to you for sharing an article like this.

토토사이트 said...

I am overwhelmed by your post with such a nice topic. Usually I visit your 안전놀이터 and get updated through the information you include but today’s blog would be the most appreciable. Well done!What an interesting story! I'm glad I finally found what I was looking for 메이저토토사이트.Your article is great. I think it will be praised anywhere. I am a columnist and I am writing articles related to 메이저사이트. If you are interested in the column I wrote, I would appreciate it if you visit my site .Nice to meet you. Your post was really impressive. It's an unexpected idea. It was a great stimulus to me.How did you come up with this genius idea? Your writing ability is amazing. Like me, you may be interested in my writing. If you want to see my article, please come to 토토사이트!!



My digital solutions said...

Fantastic website. Lots of useful info here. I am sending to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. Adwords Solutions

토토커뮤니티 said...

dependably manufacture astonishing entities I'll come and read every day. It's really nice to have a place like this 토토커뮤니티

토토커뮤니티 said...

Wow, great blog article 먹튀검증 I'll come and read every day. It's really nice to have a place like this

Anonymous said...

offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place will instantly grab your rss 토토사이트검증 want to visit our site too

Anonymous said...

This blog helps me a lot. Please make time to read, offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place 안전놀이터 of searching of a marvelous site

Anonymous said...

There are several different layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent 먹튀검증

andrewjackson said...

Our the purpose is to share the reviews about the latest Jackets,Coats and Vests also share the related Movies,Gaming, Casual,Faux Leather and Leather materials available Suburra Aureliano Leather Jacket

My digital solutions said...

To be honest your article is informative and very helpful. After I saw your site I read it and it helped me a lot. Custom Software Melbourne

racesitepro said...

I’m writing on this topic these days, , but I have stopped writing because there is no reference material. Then I accidentally found your article. I can refer to a variety of materials, so I think the work I was preparing will work! Thank you for your efforts. 온라인경마

totopickpro said...

I will pass this blog to many people. Definitely a good blog is very good. Thank you for sharing. 토토사이트

sportstoto.ink said...

Really I enjoy your site with effective and useful information. It is included very nice post with a lot of our resources.thanks for share. i enjoy this post . 스포츠토토링크

roulettesitetop said...

This post is very simple to read and appreciate without leaving any details out. Great work!

룰렛

baccaratsite.top said...

Thanks for such a valuable post.온라인카지노 I am waiting for your next post, I have enjoyed a lot reading this post keep it up.

sportstoto.zone said...

it’s awesome and I found this one informative스포츠토토

Davisjoseb said...

Your web site is excellent. I was extremely touched by this write-up. I'm so delighted to discover the short article I have actually been trying to find for a long period of time. I covet the number of individuals sympathize with your writing. You find out a great deal of expertise from my writing.바카라사이트

Ac Jitu said...

Thanks for the feature again! I guess it means I am doing a lot of things right. preventive maintenance

먹튀검증 said...

Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info 먹튀검증 It's amazing. I want to learn your writing skills. In fact, I also have a website. If you are okay, please visit once and leave your opinion. Thank you.


yasul.top said...

Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.

무료야설

massage.blue said...

What’s Happening I'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & aid different users like its aided me. Good job.


횟수 무제한 출장

오공슬롯 said...

While looking for articles on these topics, I came across this article on the site here. As I read your article, I felt like an expert in this field. I have several articles on these topics posted on my site. Could you please visit my homepage? 오공슬롯


eddielydon said...

It was not first article by this author as I always found him as a talented author. goku drip puffer jacket

casino api said...

That's a really impressive new idea! casino api It touched me a lot. I would love to hear your opinion on my site. Please come to the site I run once and leave a comment. Thank you.


메리트카지노 said...

You made some good points there. I did a Google search about the topic and found most people will believe your blog. 메리트카지노


우리카지노 said...

Your posts are always informative. This post was a very interesting topic for me too. 우리카지노 I wish I could visit the site I run and exchange opinions with each other. So have a nice day.


메이저사이트 said...

I finally found what I was looking for! I'm so happy. 메이저사이트


바카라사이트 said...

This is a very impressive subject. Thank you for always. I have been reading your article interestingly. If possible, please visit my website to read my posts and leave comments. Have a nice day! 바카라사이트 What you wrote was very helpful to me. Thank you. Actually, I run a site similar to you. If you have time, could you visit my site? Please leave your comments after reading what I wrote. If you do so, I will actively reflect your opinion. I think it will be a great help to run my site. Have a good day.


카지노사이트 said...

I have been looking for articles on these topics for a long time. 카지노사이트 I don't know how grateful you are for posting on this topic. Thank you for the numerous articles on this site, I will subscribe to those links in my bookmarks and visit them often. Have a nice day


keonhacai said...

Hello, I'm happy to see some great articles on your site. Would you like to come to my site later? My site also has posts, comments and communities similar to yours. Please visit and take a look keonhacai


Unknown said...

카지노사이트 더킹카지노 온라인카지노 pattern that give you money Part2

크레이지슬롯 said...

Your ideas inspired me very much. 크레이지슬롯 It's amazing. I want to learn your writing skills. In fact, I also have a website. If you are okay, please visit once and leave your opinion. Thank you.


My digital solutions said...

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. website development Melbourne

우리카지노 said...

I've been looking for photos and articles on this topic over the past few days due to a school assignment, 우리카지노 and I'm really happy to find a post with the material I was looking for! I bookmark and will come often! Thanks :D


yadongbiz said...

Everything is very open with a clear description of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing. Feel free to visit my website; 야설

koreayadongcom said...

Very nice article and straight to the point. I don't know if this is truly the best place to ask but do you folks have any idea where to get some professional writers? Thank you. Feel free to visit my website; 국산야동


chinayadongnet said...

Hey there. I found your site by the use of Google whilst looking for a similar subject, your site came up. It looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then. Feel free to visit my website; 일본야동


yahanvideonet said...


Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me Feel free to visit my website; 일본야동

카지노사이트 said...

Your post has really helped me a lot. I live in a different country than you, but I believe it will help a lot in my country. 카지노사이트 Thank you very much. Can I refer to your post on my website? Your post touched me a lot and helped me a lot. If you have any questions, please visit my site and read what kind of posts I am posting. I am sure it will be interesting.


Jobi Johnson said...

This is the best post I have ever seen. Very clear and simple. Mid-portion Is quite interesting though. Keep doing this. I will visit your site again. Chris Redfield Coat

reelgame.site said...

This is what i call , great article website that i have read . 파친코사이트

totosite365.info said...

Great blog! I am loving it!! Will come back again. 스포츠토토

Anonymous said...

ที่สุดแห่งบาคาร่าออนไลน์ biobetgaming บริการตลอด 24 ชั่วโมง บริการด้านเกมคาสิโนหลากหลายเช่น บาคาร่าออนไลน์ รูเร็ท แบล็คแจ็ค เสือมังกร ไฮโล และอื่นๆอีกมากมาย ที่มาพร้อมกับโปรโมชั่นโดนใจเน้นๆ ที่นี่ที่ คาสิโนออนไลน์

datakeluaranchina said...

Its superb as your other posts regards for posting . wordpress development

Rupesh kumar said...

Very useful and information content has been shared out here, Thanks for sharing it. Ziyyara Edutech's comprehensive online AS Level courses. Our dedicated team of experienced tutors is committed to helping you excel in your studies
Book A Free Demo Today visit Online AS level Course tutoring

fmovies said...

Thanks to sharing this information with us this information help me lot sir

theglobalhues said...

Delve into the experiences and strategies of business moguls who have achieved remarkable success.

theglobalhues

Farhan Zaidi said...

Great experience I got good information from your blog. Are you looking to supercharge your online presence and drive targeted traffic to your website? Edtech Reader presents the ultimate solution - a curated list of High DA Classifieds Submission Sites.
visit High DA Classifieds Submission Sites List

denice said...

Great experience I got good information from your blog