'Bad practice' or 'bad methods': are software engineering and ethnographic discourses incompatible?

Kari Rönkkö, O Lindeburg, Y Dittrich

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragArbetsdokument


Organizational problems in industry have evoked increased interest in empirical methodologies in the broader software engineering community. In this article ethnography and its relation to software engineering is addressed. Until now sociologists have performed the majority of ethnographic studies on software development. But how useful are these studies for software engineering? Ethnography emphasizes the members' point of view in order to understand the social. Studies from the members' perspective can be interpreted, as revealing 'bad methods' that do not work in complex work situations. From a sofiware engineering point of view, they just as easy point to the opposite as 'bad practice', bad application of existing methods. The objective of this paper is to promote ethnography and its contribution to sofiware engineering by revealing the different research attitudes of ethnographers and software engineers. Possibilities how to combine ethnographic studies with software method improvement are indicated.

Antal sidor6
StatusPublicerad - 2002
Externt publiceradJa

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