PA2545 Behavorial Software Engineering

Single subject course, 2,5 Higher education credits, Second cycle, autumn semester 2018


The purpose of this course is to learn and to better understand humans that are key in making software projects successful. It includes an understanding of behavior and social aspects of humans as individuals or groups that participate in and drive software engineering. This course complements the technology and process focus that dominates the software engineering area today. The focus is on the individuals and groups in software development and briefly cover results at the organizational level. Those that participate in this course will gain knowledge that will help them to better cater the needs of their colleagues as well as employees, build on their strengths as well as overcome their weaknesses, and in turn it helps increase the chances of running successful software projects.


  • Type of instruction: Distance, mixed-time, part-time 20%
  • Study period: 2018-September-03 until 2018-November-04
  • Education level: A1N
  • Application: Cancelled
  • Language of instruction: The teaching language is English.
  • Location: Some or all of education and examination is held at distance.
  • No. of occasions: Mandatory 0, Voluntary 0
  • Main field of study: Software Engineering
  • Course syllabus: Download
  • Welcome letter: Link to welcome letter from responsible teacher will be posted here no later than 3 weeks before the course begins.
  • Entry requirements: At least 120 credits in a technical subject and a minimum of 2 years professional experience in software development (shown by, for example, a work certificate from an employer).


The course will comprise of six modules:
  • Introduction to Behavioral Software Engineering definitions, concepts, and motivations.
  • Individuals: Personality and cognitivebiases, their effects, and related indicators/measures.
  • Individuals: Models for motivation andattitudes.
  • Individuals: Concepts for experience andemotion
  • Groups: Norms andcreativity within software development.
  • Politics, happiness and freedom in software organizations for software engineers.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
On completion of the course the student should be able to:
Explain and discuss the importance of Behavioral Software Engineering and how it differs from classical Software Engineering.
Explain and discuss the effects of personality and cognitive biases in relation to software engineering.
Skills and abilities
On completion of the course the student should be able to:
Discuss and apply models for norms and motivation in software development.
Give examples of and discuss creativity, as well as creativity enhancement techniques, in software development.

Values and attitudes
On completion of the course the student should be able to:
Critically reflect on their own experience with regards to behavior and social aspects as individuals and within groups.
Reflect on the emotions that software developers experience and how they impact a project.
Identify, discuss and critically reflect on political behavior in their software organization.

Course literature and other teaching material

A compilation of video lectures and research reports are available on the course?s online learning platform.

Course literature and other teaching material

A compilation of video lectures and research reports are available on the course?s online learning platform.

Learning methods

The course consists of six modules. The teaching within each module is organized around research articles, pre-recorded lectures on key topics and mandatory assignments. Two optional campus days with workshops and seminars will take place. Throughout the course, communication with teaching staff (and fellow participants) will take place through email and course’s online learning platform for discussions and feedback.

Work placement

No work placement is included in the planned learning activities. BTH is aiming for a close contact with the surrounding community when developing courses and programmes.


  1. Fabian Fagerholm
Course Manager
  1. Fabian Fagerholm

Time allocation

On average, a student should study 67 hours to reach the learning outcomes.
This time includes all the various available learning activities (lectures, self studies, examinations, etc.).
This estimation is based on the fact that one academic year counts as 60 ECTS credits,
corresponding to an average student workload of 1 600 hours. This may vary individually.


Component examinations for the course
Code Title ECTS credits Grade
1710 Assignments 2.5 G-U


The course will be graded G Pass, UX Insufficient, supplementation required, U Fail.

Future exams

No upcoming, centrally coordinated, examinations for this course were found.

To participate in a centrally coordinated examination, you must enroll in Student's Portal, no later than fifteen days before the examination.

Time and location for the examination will be published about 5 days in advance.

There might be other scheduled examinations. Information concerning these examinations are available in It's Learning or at other places that the person who is responsible of the course will refer to.

Course Evaluation

The course manager is responsible for the views of students on the course being systematically and regularly gathered and that the results of the evaluations in various forms affect the form and development of the course.