Over at “Never Work in Theory”…

Just a reminder—over at the Never Work in Theory blog, we’ve already got about a couple dozen papers with empirical findings that (we think) are relevant for software practice. They’re beginning to cover a wide area: from parallel programming to teamwork dynamics to requirements prioritization to organizational structure. If you think of good and interesting papers that we haven’t discussed yet, drop me a note!

About Jorge Aranda

I'm currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the SEGAL and CHISEL labs in the Department of Computer Science of the University of Victoria.
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4 Responses to Over at “Never Work in Theory”…

  1. I was delighted by you paper “Empirical Software Engineering” and that’s what brought me to this site (although I also live in Victoria, as it happens).

    Drawn by the title, I was expecting something different, perhaps along the lines of a paper I’ve been accumulating notes and drafts for. That project of mine relates the development of software with previous nascent industries in technological history; and their NOT so dissimilar teething troubles, then tries to draw lessons from the comparisons. Especially, the lesson that improving (empirical) data capture is often far more important to the development of a technology than the more superficially obvious inventions that our schoolbooks delight in telling us about.

    This has been especially true of safety issues in sunrise industries, historically. For example, catastrophic bridge failures were staggeringly common in the early days of Victorian engineering with iron (initially cast iron) and steel. It took time to discover that hidden cracks could form during manufacturing, that metal fatigue existed, and finally, for techniques to emerge that could begin to detect and predict such fissures. To the consternation of the Victorians, all iron wasn’t made alike, even when it looked alike. These empirical advances changed everything, thankfully, but that empirical progress isn’t celebrated in the way that Bessemer steel is, say.

    So I was very happy that your paper helped boost empirical studies of this logical enterprise. The sooner the subject is taken very seriously, the better.

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