The pace of today’s software-enabled technological advances and the human-centric nature of software (engineering) contexts makes clear that we need to shift from a traditionally purely design-science-driven way of working to an insight-oriented, evidence-based, and interdisciplinary one. More than ever are we dependent on robust scientific theories for high-quality software engineering research and practice. Approaching software engineering as a human-centric and evidence-based discipline enables us to tackle the emergent challenges in today’s software engineering where we need to empirically reason about our discipline and artefacts in their context – covering methodologies, processes, languages, and tools.

Steered by this principle view on our discipline, my research is of problem-driven and interdisciplinary nature and relies on continuous experimentation, development, and evaluation. I concentrate largely on evidence-based human-centred software engineering.

Of particular interest to me is to investigate how we can reproducibly control and improve the quality in software engineering endeavours. Exemplary questions include “What is the role and relevancy of early, volatile, and human-centric development stages?”, “How and why do errors occur and how do they propagate throughout the whole software development lifecycle?”, “What is the role of development artefacts?”, or “What means ‘quality’ to a particular context?”.

My primary research is built upon three pillars: (1) Requirements engineering, (2) software process modelling, and (3) software quality and its systematic management— all in close collaboration with relevant industries.

In the following, you find an overview of selected research projects in these areas.

Collaborative Embedded Systems (funded by DLR/BMBF)

The goal of the project on Collaborative Embedded Systems (CrESt), having 22 partners from academia and industry, is the development of a comprehensive framework for the model-based development of collaborative embedded systems tackling engineering challenges arising from the development of interconnected systems (with a particular focus on systems’ architectures) in dynamic contexts.

Details can be taken from here!

Naming the Pain in Requirements Engineering

Naming the Pain in Requirements Engineering (NaPiRE) is a globally distributed, yearly replicated family of surveys on Requirements Engineering. The survey aims at distilling the status quo in industrial practices and contemporary problems in RE to build a first holistic RE theory supporting a problem-driven research. NaPiRE has been founded by me and Stefan Wagner (University of Stuttgart) under the umbrella of the International Software Engineering Research Network (ISERN) and currently involves more than 50 researchers from over 20 countries.

Details can be taken from here!

Simple Secure Sprint

The goal of the project, jointly conducted with Jan Passoth from the Technical University of Munich and in cooperation with Siemens Corporate Technology, is to integrate security-relevant aspects into large-scale agile software development methodologies. To this end, we are studying current practices, possibilities, and barriers affecting the integration of security-relevant artefacts and methods into the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). The long-term goal is to adopt the method framework in compliance with the IEC 62443-4-1 in a way facilitating a rule-based agile secure software development for non-experts in security based on checklists.

Design Thinking for Requirements Engineering

Given the increasing challenges that arise in the development of innovative, software-intensive products, we are systematically integrating Design Thinking (DT) with Software Requirements Engineering (RE) approaches in a collaboration between the University of St. Gallen, ITMP, and TUM. The goal of DT4RE, lead by Jennifer Hehn, is to actively share knowledge and experiences, and to foster the dialog between practitioners and researchers from both communities (RE and DT) via a tool box including practical methods, templates, and step-by-step tutorials.

Details can be taken from here!

Practical Relevance of RE Research

The goal of the project RE Pract, jointly lead together with Xavier Franch from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Spain, is to identify the topics and areas of future research (or fine-tune existing ones) in RE. To this end, we study the perceived practical relevance of RE research outcomes by providing industry participants with the possibility to add their own views and flavours regarding current research in RE. This allows to discover the lines of current research that are more promising for practitioners.

Details can be taken from here!

Non-functional Requirements for Model-Driven Development

This project constitutes a research collaboration between 20 researchers from 8 countries. The goal of this project is to survey industrial practices on the integration of non-functional requirements (NFR) and model-driven development (MDD), called NFR4MDD.

Details can be taken from here!