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Software Engineering Research Priorities for a Maturing Practice

Dr. Stephan Murer ( IT Chief Architect at Credit Suisse and Visiting Professor of Software Engineering, Oxford University )

I will make the case that computer science is an engineering science with software engineering at its heart. The goal is to look for scientific results that help solve real problems with software.

In current research, we are often weak on evidence, why a new proposed approach is better than existing ones. More mature fields of science, like medicine, have developed fairly strict standards for empirical research. I will suggest to do the same for software engineering research and point out, what would need to change for this to happen.

In a maturing world, most current software engineering is extending existing systems for new requirements. For this, understanding the existing system and maintaining its agility with respect to new requirements become more important. I will present my personal view on what the key research question are in this field, review the substantial body of existing research and suggest that it should be strengthened in the area of non-code artifacts and very large information systems.

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