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Klotins, Eriks
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Publications (10 of 14) Show all publications
Klotins, E., Unterkalmsteiner, M., Chatzipetrou, P., Gorschek, T., Prikladniki, R., Tripathi, N. & Pompermaier, L. B. (2019). A progression model of software engineering goals, challenges, and practices in start-ups. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A progression model of software engineering goals, challenges, and practices in start-ups
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2019 (English)In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Context: Software start-ups are emerging as suppliers of innovation and software-intensive products. However, traditional software engineering practices are not evaluated in the context, nor adopted to goals and challenges of start-ups. As a result, there is insufficient support for software engineering in the start-up context. IEEE

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2019
Keywords
Analytical models, Companies, Market opportunities, progression model, Requirements engineering, Software, Software engineering, software engineering practices, software start-up, Computer software, Industry
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17706 (URN)10.1109/TSE.2019.2900213 (DOI)2-s2.0-85061979918 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-03-07 Created: 2019-03-07 Last updated: 2019-09-26Bibliographically approved
Klotins, E., Unterkalmsteiner, M. & Gorschek, T. (2019). Software Engineering Anti-Patterns in Start-Ups. IEEE Software, 36(2), 118-126
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Software Engineering Anti-Patterns in Start-Ups
2019 (English)In: IEEE Software, ISSN 0740-7459, E-ISSN 1937-4194, Vol. 36, no 2, p. 118-126Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Software start-up failures are often explained with a poor business model, market issues, insufficient funding, or simply a bad product idea. However, inadequacies in software engineering are relatively unexplored and could be a significant contributing factor to the high start-up failure rate. In this paper we present the analysis of 88 start-up experience reports, revealing three anti-patterns associated with start-up progression phases. The anti-patterns address challenges of releasing the first version of the product, attracting customers, and expanding the product into new markets. The anti-patterns show that challenges and failure scenarios that appear to be business or market related are, at least partially, rooted in engineering inadequacies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2019
Keywords
Software Engineering, Software Start-ups, Software quality
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17450 (URN)000459536000018 ()
Available from: 2019-01-10 Created: 2019-01-10 Last updated: 2019-09-26Bibliographically approved
Klotins, E. (2019). Software Engineering in Start-up Companies. (Doctoral dissertation). Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Software Engineering in Start-up Companies
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Start-up companies have emerged as suppliers of innovation and software-intensive products. Small teams, lack of legacy products, experimental nature, and absence of any organizational processes enable start-ups to develop and market new products and services quickly. However, most start-ups fail before delivering any value. Start-up failures can be attributed to market factors, shortcomings in business models, lack of motivation, or self-destruction, among other reasons. However, inadequacies in product engineering precede any market or business-related challenges and could be a significant contributing factor to start-up failures. At the same time, state-of-the-art software engineering (SE) practices are often neglected by start-ups as inadequate. At the beginning of this work, SE in start-ups had attracted very little attention from researchers. Thus, there was no coherent view of SE state-of-practice in start-ups and no starting point for a focused investigation.

 

In this thesis, we explore how start-ups practice SE, what specific SE challenges should be addressed, and what new SE practices are needed to support the engineering of innovative software-intensive products and services.

 

A substantial part of this work is exploratory and aimed to explore SE state-of-practice in start-ups. Our initial findings suggest that start-ups overlook the best SE practices. Teams of a few people working on relatively experimental and straightforward software see no upside of following the best practices. However, late start-ups face substantial challenges as their teams grow, and products become more complex. The key difficulties concern installing adequate SE practices supporting collaboration, coordination of work, and management of accumulated technical debt. To support the evolution of engineering practices in start-ups, we propose the start-up progression model outlining engineering goals, common challenges, and useful practices with regards to the start-up life-cycle phases. Further findings suggest inadequate support for market-driven requirements engineering (MDRE). Specifically, on how to aggregate needs and wishes of a large and loosely defined set of stakeholders who may not be able to articulate their needs and expectations. To address this challenge, we propose a method for the identification and prioritization of data sources and stakeholders in MDRE. Analyzing SE context in start-ups and other organizations developing innovative and market-driven products, we have found many similarities. While start-ups have challenges, they do not appear to be unique. Thus, most start-up challenges can be addressed by transferring the best practices from other engineering contexts.

 

We conclude that there is a little need for start-up specific engineering practices. Best software engineering practices are relevant to address challenges in start-ups. The key engineering challenge in start-ups is the management of the evolution of SE practices to match the growing complexity of the product and the organization. Our work also highlights the need for better MDRE practices to support new market-driven product development in both start-ups and other types of organizations. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2019
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 12
Keywords
start-ups, software engineering, practices, models
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-18694 (URN)978-91-7295-384-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-12-16, J1516, Campus Grasvik, Karlskrona, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-10-21 Created: 2019-09-26 Last updated: 2019-12-06Bibliographically approved
Klotins, E., Unterkalmsteiner, M. & Gorschek, T. (2019). Software engineering in start-up companies: An analysis of 88 experience reports. Journal of Empirical Software Engineering, 24(1), 68-102
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Software engineering in start-up companies: An analysis of 88 experience reports
2019 (English)In: Journal of Empirical Software Engineering, ISSN 1382-3256, E-ISSN 1573-7616, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 68-102Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context: Start-up companies have become an important supplier of innovation and software-intensive products. The flexibility and reactiveness of start-ups enables fast development and launch of innovative products. However, a majority of software start-up companies fail before achieving any success. Among other factors, poor software engineering could be a significant contributor to the challenges experienced by start-ups. However, the state-of-practice of software engineering in start-ups, as well as the utilization of state-of-the-art is largely an unexplored area. Objective: In this study we investigate how software engineering is applied in start-up context with a focus to identify key knowledge areas and opportunities for further research. Method: We perform a multi-vocal exploratory study of 88 start-up experience reports. We develop a custom taxonomy to categorize the reported software engineering practices and their interrelation with business aspects, and apply qualitative data analysis to explore influences and dependencies between the knowledge areas. Results: We identify the most frequently reported software engineering (requirements engineering, software design and quality) and business aspect (vision and strategy development) knowledge areas, and illustrate their relationships. We also present a summary of how relevant software engineering knowledge areas are implemented in start-ups and identify potentially useful practices for adoption in start-ups. Conclusions: The results enable a more focused research on engineering practices in start-ups. We conclude that most engineering challenges in start-ups stem from inadequacies in requirements engineering. Many promising practices to address specific engineering challenges exists, however more research on adaptation of established practices, and validation of new start-up specific practices is needed. © 2018 The Author(s)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer New York LLC, 2019
Keywords
Experience reports, Software engineering practices, Software start-up, Requirements engineering, Engineering challenges, Engineering knowledge, Engineering practices, Experience report, Exploratory studies, Qualitative data analysis, Strategy development, Software design
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-16246 (URN)10.1007/s10664-018-9620-y (DOI)000458634400003 ()2-s2.0-85047198507 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-05-31 Created: 2018-05-31 Last updated: 2019-09-26Bibliographically approved
Tripathi, N., Klotins, E., Prikladnicki, R., Oivo, M., Pompermaier, L. B., Kudakacheril, A. S., . . . Gorschek, T. (2018). An anatomy of requirements engineering in software startups using multi-vocal literature and case survey. Journal of Systems and Software, 146, 130-151
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An anatomy of requirements engineering in software startups using multi-vocal literature and case survey
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 146, p. 130-151Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context: Software startups aim to develop innovative products, grow rapidly, and thus become important in the development of economy and jobs. Requirements engineering (RE) is a key process area in software development, but its effects on software startups are unclear. Objective: The main objective of this study was to explore how RE (elicitation, documentation, prioritization and validation) is used in software startups. Method: A multi-vocal literature review (MLR) was used to find scientific and gray literature. In addition, a case survey was employed to gather empirical data to reach this study's objective. Results: In the MLR, 36 primary articles were selected out of 28,643 articles. In the case survey, 80 respondents provided information about software startup cases across the globe. Data analysis revealed that during RE processes, internal sources (e.g., for source), analyses of similar products (e.g., elicitation), uses of informal notes (e.g., for documentation), values to customers, products and stakeholders (e.g., for prioritization) and internal reviews/prototypes (e.g., for validation) were the most used techniques. Conclusion: After an analysis of primary literature, it was concluded that research on this topic is still in early stages and more systematic research is needed. Furthermore, few topics were suggested for future research. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Inc., 2018
Keywords
Case survey, Multi-vocal literature review, Requirements engineering, Software startups, Software design, Case surveys, Empirical data, Innovative product, Internal source, Key process areas, Literature reviews, Prioritization, Systematic research, Surveys
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17083 (URN)10.1016/j.jss.2018.08.059 (DOI)000451488900010 ()2-s2.0-85053782208 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-10-05 Created: 2018-10-05 Last updated: 2018-12-13Bibliographically approved
Klotins, E., Unterkalmsteiner, M., Chatzipetrou, P., Gorschek, T., Prikladnicki, R., Tripathi, N. & Pompermaier, L. B. (2018). Exploration of technical debt in start-ups. In: Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering: . Paper presented at 40th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, ICSE-SEIP 2018; Gothenburg (pp. 75-84). IEEE Computer Society
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploration of technical debt in start-ups
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2018 (English)In: Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering, IEEE Computer Society , 2018, p. 75-84Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Context: Software start-ups are young companies aiming to build and market software-intensive products fast with little resources. Aiming to accelerate time-to-market, start-ups often opt for ad-hoc engineering practices, make shortcuts in product engineering, and accumulate technical debt. Objective: In this paper we explore to what extent precedents, dimensions and outcomes associated with technical debt are prevalent in start-ups. Method: We apply a case survey method to identify aspects of technical debt and contextual information characterizing the engineering context in start-ups. Results: By analyzing responses from 86 start-up cases we found that start-ups accumulate most technical debt in the testing dimension, despite attempts to automate testing. Furthermore, we found that start-up team size and experience is a leading precedent for accumulating technical debt: larger teams face more challenges in keeping the debt under control. Conclusions: This study highlights the necessity to monitor levels of technical debt and to preemptively introduce practices to keep the debt under control. Adding more people to an already difficult to maintain product could amplify other precedents, such as resource shortages, communication issues and negatively affect decisions pertaining to the use of good engineering practices. © 2018 ACM.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2018
Series
Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering, ISSN 0270-5257
Keywords
Software start-ups, Technical debt, Commerce, Case surveys, Contextual information, Engineering practices, Good engineering practices, Product engineering, Resource shortage, Technical debts, Time to market, Software engineering
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-16893 (URN)10.1145/3183519.3183539 (DOI)2-s2.0-85049673180 (Scopus ID)9781450356596 (ISBN)
Conference
40th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, ICSE-SEIP 2018; Gothenburg
Available from: 2018-08-20 Created: 2018-08-20 Last updated: 2019-09-26Bibliographically approved
Klotins, E. (2018). Software start-ups through an empirical lens: Are start-ups snowflakes?. In: Wang X.,Munch J.,Suominen A.,Bosch J.,Jud C.,Hyrynsalmi S. (Ed.), CEUR Workshop Proceedings: . Paper presented at 1st International Workshop on Software-Intensive Business: Start-Ups, Ecosystems and Platforms, SiBW 2018, Espoo, Finland, 3 December 2018. CEUR-WS
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Software start-ups through an empirical lens: Are start-ups snowflakes?
2018 (English)In: CEUR Workshop Proceedings / [ed] Wang X.,Munch J.,Suominen A.,Bosch J.,Jud C.,Hyrynsalmi S., CEUR-WS , 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Most of the existing research assume that software start-ups are “unique” and require a special approach to software engineering. The uniqueness of start-ups is often justified by the scarcity of resources, time pressure, little operating history, and focus on innovation. As a consequence, most research on software start-ups concentrate on exploring the start-up context and are overlooking the potential of transferring the best engineering practices from other contexts to start-ups. In this paper, we examine results from an earlier mapping study reporting frequently used terms in literature used to characterize start-ups. We analyze how much empirical evidence support each characteristic, and how unique each characteristic is in the context of innovative, market-driven, software-intensive product development. Our findings suggest that many of the terms used to describe startups originate from anecdotal evidence and have little empirical backing. Therefore, there is a potential to revise the original start-up characterization. In conclusion, we identify three potential research avenues for further work: a) considering shareholder perspective in product decisions, b) providing support for software engineering in rapidly growing organizations, and c) focusing on transferring the best engineering practices from other contexts to start-ups. © 2018 CEUR-WS. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CEUR-WS, 2018
Series
CEUR Workshop Proceedings, ISSN 1613-0073
Keywords
Engineering context, Software engineering, Start-ups, Boron compounds, Ecosystems, Engineering research, Silicon compounds, Tungsten compounds, Anecdotal evidences, Engineering practices, Further works, Mapping studies, Market driven, Potential researches, Time pressures, C (programming language)
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17590 (URN)2-s2.0-85060578194 (Scopus ID)
Conference
1st International Workshop on Software-Intensive Business: Start-Ups, Ecosystems and Platforms, SiBW 2018, Espoo, Finland, 3 December 2018
Available from: 2019-02-11 Created: 2019-02-11 Last updated: 2019-09-26Bibliographically approved
Klotins, E., Unterkalmsteiner, M. & Gorschek, T. (2018). Software-intensive product engineering in start-ups: a taxonomy. IEEE Software, 35(4), 44-52
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Software-intensive product engineering in start-ups: a taxonomy
2018 (English)In: IEEE Software, ISSN 0740-7459, E-ISSN 1937-4194, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 44-52Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Software start-ups are new companies aiming to launch an innovative product to mass markets fast with minimal resources. However a majority of start-ups fail before realizing their potential. Poor software engineering, among other factors, could be a significant contributor to the challenges experienced by start-ups.

Very little is known about the engineering context in start-up companies. On the surface, start-ups are characterized by uncertainty, high risk and minimal resources. However, such characterization is not granular enough to support identification of specific engineering challenges and to devise start-up specific engineering practices.

The first step towards understanding on software engineering in start-ups is definition of the Start-up Context Map - a taxonomy of engineering practices, environment factors and goals influencing the engineering process. Goal of the Start-up Context Map is to support further research on the field and to serve as an engineering decision support tool for start-ups. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2018
Keywords
product engineering, software development, software engineering, software-intensive product engineering, Start-Up Context Mapstart-ups
National Category
Engineering and Technology Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-15450 (URN)10.1109/MS.2018.2801548 (DOI)000438129500007 ()
Available from: 2017-11-07 Created: 2017-11-07 Last updated: 2018-08-20Bibliographically approved
Hyrynsalmi, S., Klotins, E., Unterkalmsteiner, M., Gorschek, T., Tripathi, N., Pompermaier, L. B. & Prikladnicki, R. (2018). What is a minimum viable (video) game?: Towards a research agenda. In: Lect. Notes Comput. Sci.: . Paper presented at 17th IFIP WG 6.11 Conference on e-Business, e-Services, and e-Society, I3E 2018; Kuwait City; Kuwait; 30 October 2018 through 1 November 2018 (pp. 217-231). Springer Verlag, 11195
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What is a minimum viable (video) game?: Towards a research agenda
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2018 (English)In: Lect. Notes Comput. Sci., Springer Verlag , 2018, Vol. 11195, p. 217-231Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The concept of ‘Minimum Viable Product’ (MVP) is largely adapted in the software industry as well as in academia. Minimum viable products are used to test hypotheses regarding the target audience, save resources from unnecessary development work and guide a company towards a stable business model. As the game industry is becoming an important business domain, it is not surprise that the concept has been adopted also in the game development. This study surveys how a Minimum Viable Game (MVG) is defined, what is reported in extant literature as well as present results from a small case study survey done to nine game development companies. The study shows that despite popularity of minimum viable games in the industrial fora, the presented views on the concept are diverged and there is lack of practical guidelines and research supporting game companies. This study points out research gaps in the area as well as calls for actions to further develop the concept and to define guidelines. © IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2018.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Verlag, 2018
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), ISSN 0302-9743
Keywords
Game business, Minimum viable game, Minimum viable product, Electronic commerce, Industrial research, Surveys, Business domain, Business modeling, Game development, Practical guidelines, Software industry, Target audience, Software design
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-17282 (URN)10.1007/978-3-030-02131-3_20 (DOI)2-s2.0-85055807026 (Scopus ID)9783030021306 (ISBN)
Conference
17th IFIP WG 6.11 Conference on e-Business, e-Services, and e-Society, I3E 2018; Kuwait City; Kuwait; 30 October 2018 through 1 November 2018
Available from: 2018-11-15 Created: 2018-11-15 Last updated: 2018-11-15Bibliographically approved
Unterkalmsteiner, M., Abrahamsson, P., Wang, X., Nguyen-Duc, A., Shah, S., Bajwa, S. S., . . . Yagüe, A. (2016). Software Startups: A Research Agenda. e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal, 10(1), 89-123
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Software Startups: A Research Agenda
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2016 (English)In: e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal, ISSN 1897-7979, E-ISSN 2084-4840, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 89-123Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Software startup companies develop innovative, software-intensive products within limited timeframes and with few resources, searching for sustainable and scalable business models. Software startups are quite distinct from traditional mature software companies, but also from micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises, introducing new challenges relevant for software engineering research. This paper’s research agenda focuses on software engineering in startups, identifying, in particular, 70+ research questions in the areas of supporting startup engineering activities, startup evolution models and patterns, ecosystems and innovation hubs, human aspects in software startups, applying startup concepts in non-startup environments, and methodologies and theories for startup research. We connect and motivate this research agenda with past studies in software startup research, while pointing out possible future directions. While all authors of this research agenda have their main background in Software Engineering or Computer Science, their interest in software startups broadens the perspective to the challenges, but also to the opportunities that emerge from multi-disciplinary research. Our audience is therefore primarily software engineering researchers, even though we aim at stimulating collaborations and research that crosses disciplinary boundaries. We believe that with this research agenda we cover a wide spectrum of the software startup industry current needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Politechnika Gdanska, 2016
Keywords
software startup, research agenda, software-intensive systems
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-13449 (URN)10.5277/e-Inf160105 (DOI)000387014900006 ()
Note

open access

Available from: 2016-11-14 Created: 2016-11-14 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
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