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8 December 2011

Software Engineering beyond the project

Time: 12:30pm - 13:45pm
Speaker(s): Prof Yvonne Dittrich - ITU University of Copenhagen

The main part of software engineering methods, tools, and technologies has developed around projects as the central organisational form of software development. What happens when the notion of a project does not make sense? The article reports empirical research of software products that is software that is developed to be used my more than one organisation. Such software is evolved continually, supported by feedback from organisational implementation and usage. I develop the notion of product specific eco-system and their sustainability to understand the rationale behind the reported practices. Development takes place through interlacing heterogeneous design and use activities distributed across different design constituencies. The technical design defers part of the implementation to the organisational implementation and the usage. To react to the development dynamics in the eco-system, development takes place as cycles within cycles – overlaying development cycles with different rhythms to accommodate different evolution drivers. The notion of product specific eco-systems allows understanding the observed and reported practices as rational rather than deficient. Based on the results I argue for a complementing the project centric perspective of software engineering by including the product specific eco-systems as a organisational frame for software engineering of growing importance.

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Contact: <mailto:h.c.sharp@open.ac.uk