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Reflections on conducting an international survey of software engineering

: Conradi, R.; Li, J.; Slyngstad, O.P.N.; Kampenes, V.B.; Bunse, C.; Morisio, M.; Torchiano, M.


IEEE Computer Society; Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-, Special Interest Group on Software Engineering -SIGSOFT-:
2005 International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering, ISESE 2005. Proceedings : 17 - 18 November 2005, Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia
Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE Computer Society, 2005
ISBN: 0-7803-9507-7
International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering (ISESE) <4, 2005, Noosa Heads>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()

Component-based software engineering (CBSE) with Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) or Open Source Software (OSS) components are more and more frequently being used in industrial software development. We therefore need to issue experience-based guidelines for the evaluation, selection and integration of such components. We have performed a survey on industrial COTS/OSS development in three countries - Norway, Italy and Germany. Concrete survey results, e.g. on risk management policies and process tailoring, are not being described here, but in other papers. This is a method paper, reporting on the challenges, approaches and experiences gained by conducting the main survey. The main contributions are as follows: At best we can achieve a stratifled-random sample of ICT companies, followed by a convenience sample of relevant projects. This is probably the first software engineering survey using census type data, and has revealed that the entire sampling and contact process ca n be unexpectedly expensive. It is also hard to avoid national variations in the total process, possibly leading to uncontrollable method biases.