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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details

Budgen, D. (2016), What Do We Know and How Well Do We Know It? Current Knowledge about Software Engineering Practices, in Lorenz, P., Cardoso, J., Maciaszek, L.A. & van Sinderen, M. eds, Communications in Computer and Information Science 586: 10th International Joint Conference on Software Technologies (ICSOFT). Colmar, France, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, 3-16.

Author(s) from Durham


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.


Conference dates: 20-22 July 2015