Empirical Evaluation in Software Engineering

Below is an excerpt from EESE coursework Assignment 2, University of Hertfordshire.

Why is it important for software practitioners to conduct empirical evaluations?

Empirical evaluations assist practitioners in answering questions, testing claims and making informed decisions based on the results. It allows Software Managers and practitioners to identify what choices are available and conduct an analysis and a development of arguments for and against usage of that software tool. Without undertaking this assessment, software practitioners would have to rely on their peers for direction and, while the advice may be sound, they would not have sufficient evidence and all the facts to confirm its “suitability, limits, qualities, costs, and inherent risks” to the project (Kitchenham, 2005).

Despite the advantages, “the software industry frequently adopts technologies without first undertaking a structured evaluation” (Rainer, Beecham, 2008), preferring to rely on previous knowledge and guidance from others in order to save time. In doing so they may find the technology they financed is outdated, doesn’t meet their requirements or they may even find themselves changing their requirements to fit the technology limitations. 

Read more