When software engineers met research scientists: a field study

Segal, Judith (2003). When software engineers met research scientists: a field study. Technical Report 2003/14; Department of Computing, The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.00016005


In this paper, we describe a field study in which software engineers, following a traditional, staged, document-led development methodology, provided research scientists with a library of software components with which to drive a scientific instrument. Our data indicate two problems. The first of these is the clash between an upfront statement of requirements as needed by the traditional methodology and the emergence of requirements as occurs naturally in a research laboratory; the second is the fact that certain project documents do not seem to fully support the construction of a shared understanding between the scientists and the software engineers. We discuss whether the adoption of certain agile practices might ameliorate these problems.

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