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  • 1.
    Hyrynsalmi, Sami
    et al.
    Tampere University of Technology, FIN.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Tripathi, Nirnaya
    University of Oulu, FIN.
    Pompermaier, Leandro Bento
    PUCRS—Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    Prikladnicki, Rafæl
    PUCRS—Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    What is a minimum viable (video) game?: Towards a research agenda2018In: Lect. Notes Comput. Sci., Springer Verlag , 2018, Vol. 11195, p. 217-231Conference 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.

  • 2.
    Klotins, Erik
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Software engineering knowledge areas in startup companies: A mapping study2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background – Startup companies are becoming important suppliers of innovative and software intensive products. The failure rate among startups is high due to lack of resources, immaturity, multiple influences and dynamic technologies. However, software product engineering is the core activity in startups, therefore inadequacies in applied engineering practices might be a significant contributing factor for high failure rates. Aim – This study identifies and categorizes software engineering knowledge areas utilized in startups to map out the state-of-art, identifying gaps for further research. Method – We perform a systematic literature mapping study, applying snowball sampling to identify relevant primary studies. Results – We have identified 54 practices from 14 studies. Although 11 of 15 main knowledge areas from SWEBOK are covered, a large part of categories is not. Conclusions – Existing research does not provide reliable support for software engineering in any phase of a startup life cycle. Transfer of results to other startups is difficult due to low rigor in current studies. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.

  • 3.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Software Engineering in Start-up Companies2019Doctoral 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. 

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  • 4.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Software start-ups through an empirical lens: Are start-ups snowflakes?2018In: CEUR Workshop Proceedings / [ed] Wang X.,Munch J.,Suominen A.,Bosch J.,Jud C.,Hyrynsalmi S., CEUR-WS , 2018Conference 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.

  • 5.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Usability and user experience: measurement model2011Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years))Student thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Software quality is one of success factors in software development. Usability and user experience (U&UX) as a part of software quality is becoming more and more important. Although, there has been successful attempts to formalize specific parts of U&UX there is still a need for a systematic framework of U&UX evaluation. This thesis is aimed to study the state of the art in U&UX evaluation in order to develop a single framework that comprises existing knowledge on the topic. Furthermore, the U&UX evaluation framework is aimed to support product development in industry and provide a versatile guide for U&UX practitioners. The study is based on reference based systematic review. The literature review covers both scientific publications and industrial grade papers. The papers to be reviewed were selected by their relevance to the study goals and credibility of the source. The result of this is three layer U&UX evaluation framework. First layer of the Model features breakdown structure of usability and user experience. Total number of usability and context of use attributes is 217. Second layer of the model contains guidelines of how to perform usability evaluation. Third layer features validation strategies and guidelines on how to expand the Model. In order to enable practical use of the Model both static and dynamic validation should take place. There are many models in place attempting to formalize U&UX evaluation. However, most of them focuses on particular branch of usability or are too broad to be applied practically without adaption. Furthermore, there are many resources offering practical usability and user experience checklists or guidelines. However, most of them lack connection with industry standards such as ISO/IEC 9126. The Model presented in this thesis attempts to fill the gap between high level industry standards and cook book style U&UX guidelines.

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  • 6.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Using the Case Survey Method to Explore Engineering Practices in Software Start-Ups2017In: Proceedings - 2017 IEEE/ACM 1st International Workshop on Software Engineering for Startups, SoftStart 2017, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2017, p. 24-26Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software start-ups are a new and relatively unexplored field for software engineering researchers. However, conducting empirical studies with start-ups is difficult. Start-ups produce very little 'hard' evidence, thus data collection methods are limited to interviews and surveys. These methods come with their limitations, namely interview studies are not scalable to a large number of companies, and surveys are not generally applicable for exploratory studies. In this paper we present of a hybrid research method aimed to provide a compromise between breadth of a survey and depth of an interview study. The case survey method enables both qualitative and quantitative analysis of studied cases. We adapt the case survey method for use in primary studies and report experience with its application. The case survey method was successfully applied to design and launch a large scale study into engineering aspects of start-ups. We conclude that the case survey method is a promising research method to launch exploratory studies into large samples of start-up companies. © 2017 IEEE.

  • 7.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Boeva, Veselka
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Wnuk, Krzysztof
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    A collaborative method for identification and prioritization of data sources in MDREManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Requirements engineering (RE) literature acknowledges the importance of stakeholder identification early in the software engineering activities. However, literature overlooks the challenge of identifying and selecting the right stakeholders and the potential of using other inanimate requirements sources for RE activities for market-driven products.

    Market-driven products are influenced by a large number of stakeholders. Consulting all stakeholders directly is impractical, and companies utilize indirect data sources, e.g. documents and representatives of larger groups of stakeholders. However, without a systematic approach, companies often use easy to access or hard to ignore data sources for RE activities. As a consequence, companies waste resources on collecting irrelevant data or develop the product based on the input from a few sources, thus missing market opportunities.

    We propose a collaborative and structured method to support analysts in the identification and selection of the most relevant data sources for market-driven product engineering. The method consists of four steps and aims to build consensus between different perspectives in an organization and facilitates the identification of most relevant data sources. We demonstrate the use of the method with two industrial case studies.

    Our results show that the method can support market-driven requirements engineering in two ways: (1) by providing systematic steps to identify and prioritize data sources for RE, and (2) by highlighting and resolving discrepancies between different perspectives in an organization.

  • 8.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Continuous Software Engineering in the Wild2022In: Software Quality: The Next Big Thing in Software Engineering and Quality / [ed] Mendez D., Wimmer M., Winkler D., Biffl S., Bergsmann J., Springer, 2022, p. 3-12Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software is becoming a critical component of most products and organizational functions. The ability to continuously improve software determines how well the organization can respond to market opportunities. Continuous software engineering promises numerous advantages over sprint-based or plan-driven development. However, implementing a continuous software engineering pipeline in an existing organization is challenging. In this invited position paper, we discuss the adoption challenges and argue for a more systematic methodology to drive the adoption of continuous engineering. Our discussion is based on ongoing work with several industrial partners as well as experience reported in both state-of-practice and state-of-the-art. We conclude that the adoption of continuous software engineering primarily requires analysis of the organization, its goals, and constraints. One size does not fit all purposes, meaning that many of the principles behind continuous engineering are relevant for most organizations, but the level of realization and the benefits may still vary. The main hindrances to continuous flow of software arise from sub-optimal organizational structures and the lack of alignment. Once those are removed, the organization can implement automation to further improve the software delivery. © 2022, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

  • 9.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Sundelin, Katarina
    Ericsson AB Karlskrona, SWE.
    Falk, Erik
    Telia Co Uppsala, SWE.
    Towards cost-benefit evaluation for continuous software engineering activities2022In: Empirical Software Engineering, ISSN 1382-3256, E-ISSN 1573-7616, Vol. 27, no 6, article id 157Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Software companies must become better at delivering software to remain relevant in the market. Continuous integration and delivery practices promise to streamline software deliveries to end-users by implementing an automated software development and delivery pipeline. However, implementing or retrofitting an organization with such a pipeline is a substantial investment, while the reporting on benefits and their relevance in specific contexts/domains are vague. Aim: In this study, we explore continuous software engineering practices from an investment-benefit perspective. We identify what benefits can be attained by adopting continuous practices, what the associated investments and risks are, and analyze what parameters determine their relevance. Method: We perform a multiple case study to understand state-of-practice, organizational aims, and challenges in adopting continuous software engineering practices. We compare state-of-practice with state-of-the-art to validate the best practices and identify relevant gaps for further investigation. Results: We found that companies start the CI/CD adoption by automating and streamlining the internal development process with clear and immediate benefits. However, upgrading customers to continuous deliveries is a major obstacle due to existing agreements and customer push-back. Renegotiating existing agreements comes with a risk of losing customers and disrupting the whole organization. Conclusions: We conclude that the benefits of CI/CD are overstated in literature without considering the contextual and domain complexities rendering some benefits infeasible. We identify the need to understand the customer and organizational perspectives further and understand the contextual requirements towards the CI/CD.

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  • 10.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Wilson, Magnus
    Ericsson AB, Sweden.
    Continuous Software Engineering: Introducing an Industry Readiness Model2023In: IEEE Software, ISSN 0740-7459, E-ISSN 1937-4194, Vol. 40, no 4, p. 77-87Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software is becoming essential for most products, manufacturing processes, and back-office functions. The speed of delivering new features and refining the product is critical to remaining competitive. Software organizations may adopt continuous engineering practices to become more efficient. However, retrofitting an organization with a pipeline is challenging. Importantly, the most significant challenges and opportunities, are related to, but stem from outside the engineering realm and require rethinking customer relationships and business models. This paper presents a hierarchy of continuous engineering benefits and challenges. It is aimed to guide the adoption of continuous practices in an organization to determine the current and target level of adoption, given organizational context, ambitions, and domain constraints. IEEE

  • 11.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Peretz-Andersson, Einav
    Jonkoping University, SWE.
    The unified perspective of digital transformation and continuous software engineering2022In: 5TH INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON SOFTWARE-INTENSIVE BUSINESS: TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE SOFTWARE BUSINESS (IWSIB 2022), IEEE , 2022, p. 75-82Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software is a key component of most products, services, industrial processes, and back-office functions. Thus, companies may gain an advantage by establishing fast feedback cycles to improve their software. Continuous software engineering (CI/CD) is being primarily studied as an engineering topic. However, the rest of the organization needs to align and be prepared to utilize the benefits of CI/CD. In this paper, we explore the overlap between CI/CD and digital transformation (DT). We study literature in both areas to develop a map of conditions, mechanisms, and outcomes. As a result, we present a unified perspective of CI/CD and DT. We found that CI/CD can be seen as an implementation of DT in a software organization. DT perspective can help to guide the adoption of CI/CD from an organizational perspective.

  • 12.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Talbert-Goldstein, Elliot
    University of Maryland, United States.
    Organizational Conflicts in the Adoption of Continuous Software Engineering2023In: Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming / [ed] Stettina C.J., Garbajosa J., Kruchten P, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2023, Vol. 475, p. 149-164Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software is a critical component of nearly every product or service. Improvements in software can lead to substantial competitive advantages. At the same time, software and surrounding engineering teams have become increasingly complex. The adoption of continuous integration and delivery is a recent trend to radically improve software release speed. However, its adoption is far from straightforward. Specifically, rethinking processes, organizational culture, ways of working, and business models require buy-in from diverse stakeholders that may have conflicting objectives. Such situations are explored by organizational conflict research. This paper reports on early lessons from an ongoing research project in continuous software engineering, specifically investigating adoption challenges from an organizational conflict perspective. We identify catalysts, symptoms, and outcomes of organizational conflicts hindering the adoption process. We conclude that predictable conflicts emerge when adopting continuous engineering. Engineers, managers, and other teams can proactively prepare for and allocate resources to resolve them. Proper analysis and management can help avoid wasted time, impeding processes, and frustration. © 2023, The Author(s).

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  • 13.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Chatzipetrou, Panagiota
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Prikladnicki, Rafael
    Tripathi, Nirnaya
    Bento Pompermaier, Leandro
    Use of Agile Practices in Start-upsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Context. Software start-ups have shown their ability to develop and launch in- novative software products and services. Small, motivated teams and uncertain project scope makes start-ups good candidates for adopting Agile practices.

    Objective. We explore how start-ups use Agile practices and what effects can be associated with the use of those practices.

    Method. We use a case survey to analyze 84 start-up cases and 56 Agile prac- tices. We apply statistical methods to test for statistically significant associa- tions between the use of Agile practices, team, and product factors.

    Results. Our results suggest that backlog, version control, refactoring, and user stories are the most frequently reported practices. We identify 22 associations between the use of Agile practices, team, and product factors. The use of Agile practices is associated with effects on source code and overall product quality. A teams’ positive or negative attitude towards best engineering practices is a significant indicator for either adoption or rejection of certain Agile practices. To explore the relationships in our findings, we set forth a number of propositions that can be investigated by future research.

    Conclusions. We conclude that start-ups use Agile practices, however without following any specific methodology. We identify the opportunity for more fine- grained studies into the adoption and effects of individual Agile practices. Start- up practitioners could benefit from Agile practices in terms of better overall quality, tighter control over team performance and resource utilization.

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    fulltext
  • 14.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Chatzipetrou, Panagiota
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Prikladnicki, Rafael
    Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    Tripathi, Nirnaya
    Oulun Yliopisto, Oulu, FIN.
    Pompermaier, Leandro Bento
    Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    Exploration of technical debt in start-ups2018In: Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering, IEEE Computer Society , 2018, p. 75-84Conference 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.

  • 15.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Chatzipetrou, Panagiota
    Örebro University School of Business, SWE.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Prikladnicki, Rafæl
    Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    Tripathi, Nirnaya
    University of Oulu, FIN.
    Pompermaier, Leandro Bento
    Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    Use of agile practices in start-up companies2021In: e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal, ISSN 1897-7979, E-ISSN 2084-4840, Vol. 15, no 1, p. 47-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context Software start-ups have shown their ability to develop and launch innovative software products and services. Small, motivated teams and uncertain project scope makes start-ups good candidates for adopting Agile practices. Objective We explore how start-ups use Agile practices and what effects can be associated with the use of those practices. Method We use a case survey to analyze 84 start-up cases and 56 Agile practices. We apply statistical methods to test for statistically significant associations between the use of Agile practices, team, and product factors. Results Our results suggest that development of the backlog, use of version control, code refactoring, and development of user stories are the most frequently reported practices. We identify 22 associations between the use of Agile practices, team, and product factors. The use of Agile practices is associated with effects on source code and overall product quality. A teams’ positive or negative attitude towards best engineering practices is a significant indicator for either adoption or rejection of certain Agile practices. To explore the relationships in our findings, we set forth a number of propositions that can be investigated in future research. Conclusions We conclude that start-ups use Agile practices, however without following any specific methodology. We identify the opportunity for more fine-grained studies into the adoption and effects of individual Agile practices. Start-up practitioners could benefit from Agile practices in terms of better overall quality, tighter control over team performance, and resource utilization. © 2021 Wroclaw University of Science and Technology. All rights reserved.

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  • 16.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Chatzipetrou, Panagiota
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Prikladniki, Rafael
    Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    Tripathi, Nirnaya
    Oulun Yliopisto, FIN.
    Pompermaier, Leandro Bento
    Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    A progression model of software engineering goals, challenges, and practices in start-ups2021In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 47, no 3, p. 498-521Article in journal (Refereed)
    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

  • 17.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Software Engineering Anti-Patterns in Start-Ups2019In: IEEE Software, ISSN 0740-7459, E-ISSN 1937-4194, Vol. 36, no 2, p. 118-126Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 18.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Software engineering in start-up companies: An analysis of 88 experience reports2019In: Empirical Software Engineering, ISSN 1382-3256, E-ISSN 1573-7616, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 68-102Article in journal (Refereed)
    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)

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  • 19.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Software-intensive product engineering in start-ups: a taxonomy2018In: IEEE Software, ISSN 0740-7459, E-ISSN 1937-4194, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 44-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    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. 

  • 20.
    Tripathi, Nirnaya
    et al.
    Oulun Yliopisto, M3S Research Group, FIN.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Prikladnicki, Rafael
    Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    Oivo, Markku
    Oulun Yliopisto, M3S Research Group, FIN.
    Pompermaier, Leandro Bento
    Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    Kudakacheril, Arun Sojan
    Oulun Yliopisto, M3S Research Group, FIN.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Liukkunen, Kari
    Oulun Yliopisto, M3S Research Group, FIN.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    An anatomy of requirements engineering in software startups using multi-vocal literature and case survey2018In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 146, p. 130-151Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 21.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Abrahamsson, Pekka
    Wang, XiaoFeng
    Nguyen-Duc, Anh
    Shah, Syed
    Bajwa, Sohaib Shahid
    Baltes, Guido H.
    Conboy, Kieran
    Cullina, Eoin
    Dennehy, Denis
    Edison, Henry
    Fernandez-Sanchez, Carlos
    Garbajosa, Juan
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Hokkanen, Laura
    Kon, Fabio
    Lunesu, Ilaria
    Marchesi, Michele
    Morgan, Lorraine
    Oivo, Markku
    Selig, Christoph
    Seppänen, Pertti
    Sweetman, Roger
    Tyrväinen, Pasi
    Ungerer, Christina
    Yagüe, Agustin
    Software Startups: A Research Agenda2016In: e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal, ISSN 1897-7979, E-ISSN 2084-4840, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 89-123Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 22.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Feldt, Robert
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Assessing Requirements Engineering and Software Test Alignment - Five Case Studies2015In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 109, no C, p. 62-77Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The development of large, software-intensive systems is a complex undertaking that we generally tackle by a divide and conquerstrategy. Companies thereby face the challenge of coordinating individual aspects of software development, in particular betweenrequirements engineering (RE) and software testing (ST). A lack of REST alignment can not only lead to wasted effort but alsoto defective software. However, before a company can improve the mechanisms of coordination they need to be understood first.With REST-bench we aim at providing an assessment tool that illustrates the coordination in software development projects andidentify concrete improvement opportunities. We have developed REST-bench on the sound fundamentals of a taxonomy onREST alignment methods and validated the method in five case studies. Following the principles of technical action research, wecollaborated with five companies, applying REST-bench and iteratively improving the method based on the lessons we learned.We applied REST-bench both in Agile and plan-driven environments, in projects lasting from weeks to years, and staffed as largeas 1000 employees. The improvement opportunities we identified and the feedback we received indicate that the assessmentwas effective and efficient. Furthermore, participants confirmed that their understanding on the coordination between RE and STimproved.

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  • 23.
    Usman, Muhammad
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Felderer, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. University of Innsbruck, AUT.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Mendez, Daniel
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. fortiss GmbH, DEU.
    Alégroth, Emil
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Compliance Requirements in Large-Scale Software Development: An Industrial Case Study2020In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science / [ed] Morisio M.,Torchiano M.,Jedlitschka A., Springer-Verlag Tokyo Inc., 2020, Vol. 12562, p. 385-401Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Regulatory compliance is a well-studied area, including research on how to model, check, analyse, enact, and verify compliance of software. However, while the theoretical body of knowledge is vast, empirical evidence on challenges with regulatory compliance, as faced by industrial practitioners particularly in the Software Engineering domain, is still lacking. In this paper, we report on an industrial case study which aims at providing insights into common practices and challenges with checking and analysing regulatory compliance, and we discuss our insights in direct relation to the state of reported evidence. Our study is performed at Ericsson AB, a large telecommunications company, which must comply to both locally and internationally governing regulatory entities and standards such as GDPR. The main contributions of this work are empirical evidence on challenges experienced by Ericsson that complement the existing body of knowledge on regulatory compliance. © 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

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  • 24.
    Šmite, Darja
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Mikalsen, Marius
    SINTEF, NOR.
    Moe, Nils Brede
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Stray, Viktoria
    SINTEF, NOR.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    From Collaboration to Solitude and Back: Remote Pair Programming During COVID-192021In: AGILE PROCESSES IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING AND EXTREME PROGRAMMING (XP 2021) / [ed] Gregory P., Lassenius C., Wang X., Kruchten P., Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH , 2021, p. 3-18Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Along with the increasing popularity of agile software development, software work has become much more social than ever. Contemporary software teams rely on a variety of collaborative practices, such as pair programming, the topic of our study. Many agilists advocated the importance of collocation, face-to-face interaction, and physical artefacts incorporated in the shared workspace, which the COVID-19 pandemic made unavailable; most software companies around the world were forced to send their engineers to work from home. As software projects and teams overnight turned into distributed collaborations, we question what happened to the pair programming practice in the work-from-home mode. This paper reports on a longitudinal study of remote pair programming in two companies. We conducted 38 interviews with 30 engineers from Norway, Sweden, and the USA, and used the results of a survey in one of the case companies. Our study is unique as we collected the data longitudinally in April/May 2020, Sep/Oct 2020, and Jan/Feb 2021. We found that pair programming has decreased and some interviewees report not pairing at all for almost a full year. The experiences of those who paired vary from actively co-editing the code by using special tools to more passively co-reading and discussing the code and solutions by sharing the screen. Finally, we found that the interest in and the use of PP over time, since the first months of the forced work from home to early 2021, has admittedly increased, also as a social practice. © 2021, The Author(s).

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  • 25.
    Šmite, Darja
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Moe, Nils Brede
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gonzalez-Huerta, Javier
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    From forced Working-From-Home to voluntary working-from-anywhere: Two revolutions in telework2023In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 195, article id 111509Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The COVID-19 outbreak has admittedly caused interruptions to production, transportation, and mobility, therefore, having a significant impact on the global supply and demand chain's well-functioning. But what happened to companies developing digital services, such as software? How has the enforced Working-From-Home (WFH) mode impacted their ability to deliver software, if at all? This article shares our findings from monitoring the WFH during 2020 in an international software company with engineers located in Sweden, the USA, and the UK. We analyzed different aspects of productivity, such as developer job satisfaction and well-being, activity, communication and collaboration, efficiency and flow based on the archives of commit data, calendar invites, Slack communication, the internal reports of WFH experiences, and 30 interviews carried out in April/May and September 2020. We add more objective evidence to the existing COVID-19 studies the vast majority of which are based on self-reported productivity from the early months of the pandemic. We find that engineers continue committing code and carrying out their daily duties, as their routines adjust to “the new norm”. Our key message is that software engineers can work from home and quickly adjust their tactical approaches to the changes of unprecedented scale. Further, WFH has its benefits, including better work-life balance, improved flow, and improved quality of distributed meetings and events. Yet, WFH is not challenge free: not everybody feels equally productive working from home, work hours for many increased, while physical activity, socialization, pairing and opportunities to connect to unfamiliar colleagues decreased. Information sharing and meeting patterns also changed. Finally, experiences gained during the pandemic will have a lasting impact on the future of the workplace. The results of an internal company-wide survey suggest that only 9% of engineers will return to work in the office full time. Our article concludes with the InterSoft's strategy for work from anywhere (WFX), and a list of useful adjustments for a better WFH. © 2022 The Author(s)

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  • 26.
    Šmite, Darja
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Tkalich, Anastasiia
    SINTEF, NOR.
    Moe, Nils Brede
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Papatheocharous, Efi
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Klotins, Eriks
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Pettersen Buvik, Marte
    SINTEF, NOR.
    Changes in perceived productivity of software engineers during COVID-19 pandemic: The voice of evidence2022In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 186, article id 111197Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a natural experiment of an unprecedented scale as companies closed their offices and sent employees to work from home. Many managers were concerned that their engineers would not be able to work effectively from home, or lack the motivation to do so, and that they would lose control and not even notice when things go wrong. As many companies announced their post-COVID permanent remote-work or hybrid home/office policies, the question of what can be expected from software engineers who work from home becomes more and more relevant. Aims: To understand the nature of home telework we analyze the evidence of perceived changes in productivity comparing office work before the pandemic with the work from home during the pandemic from thirteen empirical surveys of practitioners. Method: We analyzed data from six corporate surveys conducted in four Scandinavian companies combined with the results of seven published surveys studying the perceived changes in productivity in industrial settings. In addition, we sought explanations for the variation in perceived productivity among the engineers from the studied companies through the qualitative analysis of open-ended questions and interviews. Results: Combined results of 7686 data points suggest that though on average perceived productivity has not changed significantly, there are developers who report being more productive, and developers being less productive when working from home. Positively affected individuals in some surveys form large groups of respondents (up to 50%) and mention benefiting from a better organization of work, increased flexibility and focus. Yet, there are equally large groups of negatively affected respondents (up to 51%) who complain about the challenges related to remote teamwork and collaboration, as well as emotional issues, distractions and poor home office environment and equipment. Finally, positive trends are found in longitudinal surveys, i.e., developers’ productivity in the later months of the pandemic show better results than those in the earlier months. Conclusions: We conclude that behind the average “no change” lays a large variation of experiences, which means that the work from home might not be for everyone. Yet, a longitudinal analysis of the surveys is encouraging, as it shows that the more pessimistic results might be influenced by the initial experiences of an unprecedented crisis. At the end, we put forward the lessons learned during the pandemic that can inspire the new post-pandemic work policies. © 2021 The Authors

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