Teaching project “HaLT” wins prize

During my time in Hannover, I participated in developing the HaLT application. In fact, this application was developed in a distributed eXtreme Programming class I taught at Leibniz Universit├Ąt Hannover in collaboration with TU Clausthal. We were proud to work with a non-profit organization to develop an Android App that should help young people to cope with emergencies due to alcohol misuse.

It was a great pleasure, when Sabine Kowalewski (the project owner and our onsite-customer back then) told me today that the HaLT application won a national prize!

Congratulations to Sabine Kowalewski and the team at Suchtberatung-Herzberg, to the student who participated in the project, to the software engineering group in Hannover, and to the software systems engineering group in Clausthal.

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