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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
    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.

  • 4.
    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 reports2018In: Journal of Empirical Software Engineering, ISSN 1382-3256, E-ISSN 1573-7616, p. 1-35Article 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)

  • 5.
    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. 

  • 6.
    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.

  • 7.
    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.

  • 8.
    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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