Saturday, September 18, 2010

The plural of anecdote is not data

I've just finished reading "Bad Science" and it made me think of how little science has been done about software development.

The only two areas where there has been some research that I can think of (off the top of my head - without doing any research about research) (and that seems very relevant to my day-to-day work) are about pair programming and test driven development.

While I think it is commendable that people have done some research for these topics - it's just not enough (in particular, not by enough different groups or people).

So - what good science is there about software development? Comments welcome.

Copyright © 2010 Ivan Moore

4 comments:

Will Sargent said...

You may be interested in the evidence based software engineering website: http://www.dur.ac.uk/ebse/

That and some "empirical software engineering" journals are the best sources I've found.

Custom Monkey said...

I'd add to this by saying there's probably not enough use made of the statistical techniques used routinely in manufacturing. I've seen lots of things which draw graphs of things like disk usage etc. but I've yet to see a CUSUM chart used to alert you that something has started to dump an unusually large amount of data onto disk or that your database query time is getting longer and longer.

sharpie said...

I'd quite like to run some experiments creating the same bit of software using different methodologies and team sizes. I think the results would be v. interesting. Will have to do that one day - rope in some students or run it at a conference.

thekua said...

When there is people involved, I think you throw science out of the window.

I would look more towards the studies down in psychology.