RSSE’12 Summary

TheĀ Third International Workshop on Recommendation Systems for Software Engineering was one of the most exciting events collocated with ICSE’12 – at least from my personal experience. I liked the discussions in this workshop. Especially the fundamental question:

How to measure if the Recommendation System actually improves the recommendees’ life? Continue reading

What are we supposed to do again?

Patterns of Requirements Clarification in Software Projects

For ages, requirements engineering research focused on creating good documentation. This focus seems to contradict observations that can be made in everyday software projects:

  • Even perfect documentation needs to be read (and interpreted) by team members in order to establish a shared understanding of the requirements in the team, let alone the speed at which it gets obsolete.
  • Quite a few organizations do very well without comprehensive requirements documentation – especially in the field of agile software development.
  • Team members do in fact have extensive knowledge of the requirements and they often communicate it through informal or online discussions, as well as in project artifact repositories.

In a recent study of the project repository data in the large and distributed IBM RTC project, we studied online requirements-related communication and were able to identify 6 reoccurring patterns in these discussions (see Figure 1). Some of these patterns can be indicative of problematic requirements and thus useful to managers in diagnosing the health of the requirements development in their project. Continue reading