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Theorizing about Software Development Practices
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Computer Science.
Lappeenranta University of Technology.
2015 (English)In: Science of Computer Programming, ISSN 0167-6423, E-ISSN 1872-7964, Vol. 101, 124–135- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper focuses on the challenge of generating theoretical support for software development, especially when human software developers are involved in the software development process. We outline a model, “Coat Hanger”, for theorizing about development practices. The model focuses on the intended rationale for the actual realization and resulting impacts of using particular practices in varying contexts. To illustrate the use of the model, we have studied recent practice-oriented articles in the journal Science of Computer Programming. A survey of articles in the journal between 2010 and 2013 showed that out of 371 articles, only four studied software development in professional organizations with actual software practitioners as informants. The Coat Hanger model was then used to identify the theoretical strengths and weaknesses of these four practice descriptions. The analysis is used as the basis to declare the potential of our model as a conceptual aid for more structured theorizing about software development practices. The contribution of the model is the introduction of a concretization of how theorizing can be done through reflection-in-action, instead of regarding research on software practices plainly from the prevailing viewpoint of technical rationality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 101, 124–135- p.
Keyword [en]
software development practice, theory, Statistics, computer and systems science - Informatics, computer and systems science
Keyword [sv]
Statistik, data- och systemvetenskap - Informatik, data- och systemvetenskap
Research subject
Information systems; Enabling ICT (AERI)
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-7834DOI: 10.1016/j.scico.2014.11.012Local ID: 6418e869-9b87-45cb-8cb9-141f24afad8aOAI: diva2:980724
Validerad; 2015; Nivå 2; 20141201 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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