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What do we know and how well do we know it? Current knowledge about software engineering practices.

Budgen, D. (2016) 'What do we know and how well do we know it? Current knowledge about software engineering practices.', in Software Technologies : 10th International Joint Conference, ICSOFT 2015, Colmar, France, July 20-22, 2015. Revised selected papers. Cham: Springer, pp. 3-16. Communications in computer and information science. (586).


Context: The ‘prescriptions’ used in software engineering for developing and maintaining systems make use of a set of ‘practice models’, which have largely been derived by codifying successful experiences of expert practitioners. Aim: To review the ways in which empirical practices, and evidence-based studies in particular, have begun to provide more systematic sources of evidence about what practices work, when, and why. Method: This review examines the current situation regarding empirical studies in software engineering and examine some of the ways in which evidence-based studies can inform and influence practice. Results: A mix of secondary and tertiary studies have been used to illustrate the issues. Conclusion: The corpus of evidence-based knowledge for software engineering is still developing. However, outcomes so far are encouraging, and indicate that in the future we can expect evidence-based research to play a larger role in informing practice, standards and teaching.

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF (Copyright agreement prohibits open access to the full-text)
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:25 January 2016
Date deposited:05 February 2016
Date of first online publication:25 February 2016
Date first made open access:No date available

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