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Empirical Practice in Software Engineering

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Perspectives on the Future of Software Engineering

Abstract

Experimental software engineering has been defined as the scientific approach to systematically evaluating software technologies by referring to predefined hypotheses using sound empirical methods.

The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview of the history, current practice, and future of empirical practice in Software Engineering. In particular, based on what we have learned from 20 years of research in empirical software engineering, we describe the empirical approach we are currently using in terms of a scientific approach to applied research and as a means for systematic evaluation.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In this chapter, we use the word study for all kinds of empirical studies. We use experiment as the generic term for controlled and quasi-experiments.

  2. 2.

    Synthesis is the umbrella term covering different strategies for combining empirical evidence [34].

  3. 3.

    We use the term technology to refer to technique, method, and tool, following Basili et al. [44].

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Acknowledgments

First of all, we thank Dieter Rombach, who provided us with the inspiring environment that Fraunhofer IESE is. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the contributions of current and former colleagues as well as friends within the ISERN community to the evolution of empirical SE at Fraunhofer IESE. Since there are so many we are unable to list all of them, but we are particularly grateful to Vic Basili, Marcus Ciolkowski, Natalia Juristo, and Carolyn Seaman, with whom we closely collaborated and walked the path of empirical SE for the past 10 years.

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Jedlitschka, A., Guzmán, L., Jung, J., Lampasona, C., Steinbach, S. (2013). Empirical Practice in Software Engineering. In: Münch, J., Schmid, K. (eds) Perspectives on the Future of Software Engineering. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-37395-4_15

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