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Teaching disciplined software development

: Rombach, H. Dieter; Münch, Jürgen; Ocampo, Alexis; Humphrey, Watts S.; Burton, Dan


The Journal of systems and software 81 (2008), Nr.5, S.747-763 : Ill., Lit.
ISSN: 0164-1212
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software development; experimental software engineering; productivity; effort estimation; personal software process; software engineering education; defect quantification; size estimation; effort estimation; yield; team software process

Discipline is an essential prerequisite for the development of large and complex software-intensive systems. However, discipline is also important on the level of individual development activities. A major challenge for teaching disciplined software development is to enable students to experience the benefits of discipline and to overcome the gap between real professional scenarios and scenarios used in software engineering university courses. Students often do not have the chance to internalize what disciplined software development means at both the individual and collaborative level. Therefore, students often feel overwhelmed by the complexity of disciplined development and later on tend to avoid applying the underlying principles. The Personal Software Process (PSP) and the Team Software Process (TSP) are tools designed to help software engineers control, manage, and improve the way they work at both the individual and collaborative level. Both tools have been considered effective means for introducing discipline into the conscience of professional developers. In this paper, we address the meaning of disciplined software development, its benefits, and the challenges of teaching it. We present a quantitative study that demonstrates the benefits of disciplined software development on the individual level and provides further experience and recommendations with PSP and TSP as teaching tools.