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Fernando Brito e Abreu (Organizing Committee Co-Chair) @ Evidence-Based Software Quality Engineering (Track @ QUATIC’2014)

Quality has been recognized as a crosscutting concern in the Software and Systems Engineering bodies of knowledge (SWEBOK and SEBoK, respectively), covering the whole lifecycle, from requirements to design, construction, testing and maintenance. Software Quality Engineering has become a de facto profession, as evidenced by ASQ’s certification scheme and associated body of knowledge. Notwithstanding, researchers and practitioners on the field continuously propose new methods, techniques and tools at a great pace, most often with a final claim on system and software quality improvement. Unfortunately, not so often, are those new proposals presented along with some evidence of their “goodness”. Evidence-based approaches are expected to play an important role on increasing the quality awareness of our community as a whole, by raising evidence on what works, when and where. One of its most important instruments is the systematic literature review (SLR), a secondary study technique derived from medicine practice, which seeks to obtain accurate data by analyzing primary studies, eliminating possible bias that these studies may suffer. Mapping studies and quasi-systematic literature reviews are a kind of SLR aimed at identifying breaches in the corresponding set of primary studies, where further primary studies are required, as well as clumps that can be the target of more focused SLRs. However, we cannot forget that the building pieces of evidence-based approaches are primary studies, which can range from observational studies to controlled experiments, either applying quantitative or qualitative techniques. Evidence based Software Quality Engineering combines evidence based approaches with the engineering of software quality technologies. It aims at the evolution of the field, by strengthening the confidence on such technologies resulted from the research and development initiatives. To exemplify it, two examples of studies concerned with evidence based approaches supporting investigations regarding software quality are presented. The first paper “Project Management supported by Business Process Management: A Case Study in a Brazilian Justice Organization”, by Welkey Carmo and Adriano Albuquerque from the University of Fortaleza (Brazil), is an example of a primary study on quality engineering. It presents a case study on the advantages on automation of a project management methodology. The second paper “Improvement Methods for Software Requirement Specifications: A Mapping Study”, by Viktor Pekar et al. from the University of Innsbruck (Austria), is an example of a secondary study on quality engineering. It reviews the most frequently researched software requirement specifications problems and improvement methods. However, there is a need to increase substantially the number of primary and secondary studies checking the software quality claims produced by other researchers (i.e. replication studies) or investigating new quality features regarding software systems. Therefore, an important activity at this track is concerned with the panel “Software Quality Myths and Facts: divide and conquer”, which intends to discuss, with some invited participants and audience, the research and development perspectives that can support a working agenda in the field. In summary, this thematic track will be a forum for researchers, practitioners, and educators that apply primary and secondary studies strategies for assessing, surveying and improving software quality. We aim at fostering the exchange of ideas that will help exploring, understanding, and modeling the software quality phenomena based on evidence.

Date: 24 Sep 2014 to 24 Sep 2014

Event Type: Workshop

Scope: International

Location: Guimarães, Portugal

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