Jan 12, 2018 in Research Essays

Evidence-Based Software Engineering

The authors of the paper "Evidence-based Software Engineering for Practitioners" are Tore Dyba, Barbara A. Kitchenham, and Magne Jorgensen.

Thesis Statement: Practitioners in industry can use evidence-based software engineering (EBSE) to assist decisions concerning the adoption of new techniques.


The paper "Evidence-based Software Engineering for Practitioners" tries to explicate how software engineers can exploit EBSE to facilitate the decisions related to the implementation of new methods. The authors state that the effectiveness and value of applying novel techniques highly depends on the scientific evidence available. Without extensively researching and employing the most adequate, valid, and reliable scientific evidence, the adoption of the new technology will end in gaps, defects, and failure. Subsequently, the paper rigorously tries to narrow the gap between research and practice through adapting methods concerned with evidence-based medicine to software engineering and how such procedures play a significant role in guiding us to software process enhancement (Kitchenham et al., 2004).


The authors of the paper seem to have the appropriate credentials and areas of expertise which allow them to gain a credible perception amongst readers. I believe that the authors' attempt to adapt methods employed in evidence-based medicine to software engineering and furthermore making an effort to prove how such procedures will help narrow the gap between research and practice via the desired software enhancement is an extremely valid and convincing approach towards successful implementations of technology decisions. However, although the authors did provide a plain description related to scientific rigor, manuscripts (referees to evaluate those documents), systematic reviews (After Action Reviews), and empirical references, I am not able to perceive any expanded or concrete illustration concerning the techniques used. The authors talk about the difficulty of proving the rigor of literature and scientific sources, but fall short of evidently explaining to the readers the real content and substance of those methods. Furthermore, regarding the validity and reliability of the paper, I think the authors have provided the reader with adequate questions and research (e.g. Checklist for assessing published studies) that will help practitioners appraise the validity and trustworthiness of data, which in turn will be incorporated into practice. According to the complexity of determining and finding reliable and tangible evidence in medicine, the references used by the paper are considered up-to-date.

Contribution to Knowledge

Expanding and realizing software creation involves the study of the decisions and postulations that are revealed or documented in objects (Boehm, 1981). This involves the study of the individuals, groups, disciplines, and computerized instruments that make the judgments and bring about objects; assessing the underlying principle, assumptions, and rational forms and representations behind the decisions; and studying the illustrations of decisions, grounds, and postulations in different objects (Boehm, 1986). We should monitor how decisions, postulations, and other representations of knowledge stream among the objects, plus among entities, disciplines, and businesses (Parnas et al., 1986). We must learn how decisions and postulations are elapsed, misconstrued, distorted, and invalidated with time. Evidence-based Software Engineering contributes to three types of knowledge. First is domain knowledge, the understanding of specialists in a certain domain, e.g., doctors and nurses in the field of health IT (Grady et al., 1987). The next type is software engineering knowledge, which encompasses knowledge of the techniques, approaches, and instruments exploited to generate the software. We should also recognize how adequately and sufficiently the creators of a system have acquired that knowledge. Projecting the influence of these distinct causes is perceived to be a complex research question, yet few results are present and can be exploited, such as those fundamental (Gawande, 2009). The third kind is knowledge of a specific software system, which entails knowledge documents in the objects mentioned earlier, and which identifies a certain software scheme being written or altered (Weiss et al., 1999). This knowledge might be acknowledged by developers; however, staff turnover can cause its failure (Hackbarth et al., 2010).

Consequently, and in the condition I am stranded in, and after I tried to convey to the client the seriousness and danger of continuing to represent him amid knowing that he is absolutely guilty, I will be facing the issue of a client persistence in an intention and action that I extensively consider revolting and irresponsible and that all the ethics I have been practicing throughout my career will be on the line if he insists on retaining the case. Another cause for my withdrawal will be the reluctant behavior of my client and his insistence to commit to his attitude, which I believe is criminal and falsified. During that stage, I am obligated, by my ethics and professional values, to withdraw from the case and furthermore present my substantial causes of withdrawal to the judge. By taking this route of conduct, I will be liberating myself from this huge burden and additionally releasing myself from this ethical dilemma (Meagher, 2001).

Upon my withdrawal from this representation, I shall also take the requisite and rationally practical initiatives to preserve my client's benefit, such as providing him with a sound notice and thus allowing him to acquire the necessary time to recruit a new advocate, handing him documents and belongings to which he is entitled to, and compensating any down-payment of unearned charges. However, I have the right to keep hold of files and other belongings pertaining to the client based on the degree sanctioned by law.

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