Masters project: Agile Software Engineering

Shannon Fehlmanm has joined the DIG group to complete his Masters of Sciences (Defence) research project looking at agile software engineering and productisation in DSTO.

This project proposes an exploration of the contemporary evolution of software engineering practice, by way of a retrospective study at the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO). The exploration will be prompted by the key case study of a successful software research and development project, and software development team. Over the past twelve years this growing project team has evolved the Analysts’ Detection Support System (ADSS) data processing software platform.

The research proposed seeks to analyse the software team’s evolution with respect to methodology, techniques, tools and technology alongside the platform’s feature development and product suite, with reference to cotemporal advances in the open research and development community. The analysis method aims to dovetail subjective responses to survey questions from variety of subject matter expert stakeholders, with objective observations derived from the rich collection of the project’s available software engineering artifacts. Subjective characterisation of and by the team will be collected by survey. Subsequent analysis will be conducted to define and explore engineering themes of interest, including agility.

Data mining software repository (MSR) techniques will be applied as appropriate, for objective validation. As well as the detailed analysis, the proposed research looks to distill a collection of guiding principles with respect to software evolution in the Defence research and development context. The available literature, and subject matter expertise will then be used to robustly generalise these findings and provide appropriate engineering recommendations to the broader community.

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