Software Engineering for Small Software Businesses -- A Model for Enquiry

A.C. Jeffery and V.H. Schroeter (New Zealand)


small software business (SSB), softwareengineering research and technology (SERT), softwareengineering relevance, business size continuum,turbulence continuum


The debate about the gap between software engineering (SE) research and practice has a long tradition in the software industry. Many surveys suggest that SE research output is not readily adopted by the SW industry. Specifically small software businesses (SSBs) tend to refrain from using SE techniques as prescribed by the research community. To find out if SE techniques may be of relevance to SSBs it is necessary to examine the nature of SSBs and how they view SE techniques. Our evaluation of the literature (and our own experience) establishes that neither businesses nor their environments are static. Relevance, for the authors, is dependent on context and that the context can, and will, change. We develop a theoretical model based on dynamic continua that provide a means of assessing SE relevance as the business, and its environmental, context changes.

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