Bad Practice or Bad Methods Are Software Engineering and Ethnographic Discourses Incompatible?

Document type: Conference Papers
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Kari Rönkkö, Olle Lindeberg, Yvonne Dittrich
Title: Bad Practice or Bad Methods Are Software Engineering and Ethnographic Discourses Incompatible?
Conference name: 2002 International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering
Year: 2002
Pagination: 204-10
ISBN: 0 7695 1796 X
Publisher: IEEE
City: Nara (Japan)
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: Department of Software Engineering and Computer Science (Institutionen för programvaruteknik och datavetenskap)
Dept. of Software Engineering and Computer Science S-372 25 Ronneby
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.bth.se/eng/ipd/
Authors e-mail: kari.ronkko@bth.se, olle.lindeberg@bth.se, yvonne.dittrich@bth.se
Language: English
Abstract: Organizational problems in industry have evoked increased interest in empirical methodologies in the broader software engineering community. In this article ethnography and its relation to software engineering is addressed. Until now sociologists have performed the majority of ethnographic studies on software development. But how useful are these studies for software engineering? Ethnography emphasizes the members' point of view in order to understand the social. Studies from the members' perspective can be interpreted, as revealing 'bad methods' that do not work in complex work situations. From a software engineering point of view, they are just as easy point to the opposite as 'bad practice', bad application of existing methods. The objective of this paper is to promote ethnography and its contribution to software engineering by revealing the different research attitudes of ethnographers and software engineers. Possibilities how to combine ethnographic studies with software method improvement are indicated.
Subject: Software Engineering\General
Keywords: software engineering, software metrics
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