Cultivating Practitioners for Software Engineering Experiments in industry: Best Practices Learned From the Experience

Cultivating Practitioners for Software Engineering Experiments in industry: Best Practices Learned From the Experience

Guillermo López (Instituto Tecnológico de Aragon, Spain), Laura García-Borgoñón (Instituto Tecnológico de Aragon, Spain), Sira Vega (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain), Maria J. Escalona (University of Seville, Spain) and Natalia Juristo (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3661-2.ch005

Abstract

Controlled experiments are commonly used to evaluate software methods, processes, and tools. Literature presents that the validation of software engineering research results in industrial settings is a powerful way to obtain feedback about its value. However, to implicate industry and practitioners in experiments is not an easy task, and, even when a company is committed, frequently the number of practitioners involved is not enough to execute and validate the experiment. This chapter presents a guide of best practices that can be used in order to get a high number of participants that can validate research results from the industry. These practices are oriented to create an attractive environment for companies to conclude that the participation in a research experiment can be interesting for them. In order to illustrate them, the chapter also introduces the authors' experiences when running an experiment about early testing at the University of Seville, where they followed these guidelines to successfully enhance the participation of 76 practitioners from 32 different software companies.
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Background

Currently, the software industry decides which software development practices (methods, tools, technologies, etc.) to use in a project based on perceptions, bias and market-speak (Gibbs 1994). But engineering disciplines base their decisions on real objective data. However, no evidence exists today to demonstrate that using a particular software development method or tool will really improve productivity, development time or quality (Pfleeger 1999).

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