Conducting empirical studies in industry

Empirical studies lie at the heart of software engineering (SE). When solutions are created, they need to be validated for use in production environments otherwise there are all sorts of risks in making use of such solutions. Such validation undergoes empirical procedures where specific objectives are set, appropriate data is gathered and analysed, results are interpreted in real-world contexts, and conclusions drawn. Likewise, knowledge-seeking studies are conducted using empirical procedures and eventual findings and conclusions form bed-rock foundation for creating new products, processes, services, and technologies. Flaws in empirical procedures can induce risks in the quality of the solutions created or of the findings and conclusions of studies. With increasing societal dependence on computing technologies and systems and services, it is becoming imperative that empiricism be an integral part of technological endeavours if we are to serve society well.

However, empirical studies conducted in industrial settings are particularly challenging because the actual environments are complex and what is first observable by researchers is only tip of the iceberg. Yet, investigative questions must be formulated, valid constructs need to be defined, trust needs to be in place, quality data must be gathered within small time-frames available, etc. In essence, researchers often need to start running when they haven't quite learnt how to walk.

Building on the success of the CESI 2013 workshop, this year the organizers seek to hold a follow-on workshop at ICSE 2014. While consolidating on community building, the proposed workshop aims at: recognising uncommon but successful practices for conducting empirical studies in industry; seeking out new knowledge and research directions to add to the knowledge-base resultant from CESI 2013; and at fostering networking among the participants. A long-term goal of the series of CESI workshops is to create a vibrant research and practice community with a focus on conducting quality empirical studies in industry in the hope that their results will lead to improved software engineering practices, methods, processes, technologies, products/systems and services.

Last changes:
  • 27/10/13: Workshop date finally known! 2nd June
  • 22/10/13: First version of cfp available
  • 22/10/13: Website launched!
  • 17/10/13: Bill Curtis accepted as keynote speaker

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ICSE 2014

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