Research of AG SE

The Software Engineering research group is concerned with reducing the gap between the State of the Art and the average State of the Practice in all areas of software engineering.

Here are some of our credos that describe where we start:
  • Most of the time, methods and tools are used very differently and/or very incompletely compared to what their designers hoped.
  • Understanding the reasons for this discrepancy (cognitive, technical, social, and economic) would help a great deal in improving both the methods/tools and their use.
  • Even when methods/tools are left aside, many of the social and cognitive fundamentals driving the practice of software development are hardly understood.

Loosely speaking, the goal of our research is understanding what goes on in software processes and why. We believe such understanding will lead to improvements of the process quite readily. Our research approach is therefore primarily empirical and experience-based, rather than constructive and theory-based.

We do not wear blinders, though: Every once in a while, a project may be about something entirely different...

About our research in general

Current research topics

  • Pair Programming and Saros: Studying what really goes on when two people program as a pair -- either locally or in a distributed fashion
  • API usability:
    • Improving the usability of SeqAn
    • API Documentation Quality: Identifying different styles of API documentation, how helpful they are in practice, and what makes them helpful or less helpful.
  • Review Quality Collector (RQC): Establishing formal reputation for scientists' performance as peer reviewers
  • F/OSS: Studying the characteristics of distributed software processes as they occur in Free/Open Source software development, in particular with respect to the introduction of process innovations.

Former or dormant topics

  • Plat_Forms: The web development platform comparison (2007-2013).
  • Medical Knowledge Explication (2005-2011, dormant)
  • Project "WAVES" (2006-2008): Knowledge exchange in distributed software development.
  • Micro Process/ECG (2003-2007): Building an environment for detailed examination of programmers' activities during software development
  • ErrorHome (2003-2007, dormant): Studying the phenomenon of error (root causes, conditions, triggers, and prevention)


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Topic revision: 08 Sep 2016, LutzPrechelt