Software Processes and Process Improvement in Northern Ireland

McFall, D and Wilkie, F.G and McCaffery, Fergal and Lester, Neil and Sterrit, Roy (2003) Software Processes and Process Improvement in Northern Ireland. In: 16th Int. Conference SOFTWARE & SYSTEMS ENGINEERING and their applications, 2-4th Dec 2003, Paris.

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The purpose of this paper is to discuss current software development and process improvement practices. This paper analyses statistical findings obtained from the Northern Ireland (NI) software industry within the context of the global software development community, making particular reference to software process improvement within the Irish (Republic of Ireland), Indian, Chinese, and Japanese software industries. Through common issues, generalisations are made that are likely to be applicable to most regions of the world. The NI software development survey was developed by the Centre for Software Process Technologies (CSPT). CSPT is concerned with the engineering of high quality software. An important function of the CSPT is to provide infrastructural support to the NI software industry. One of the initial problems facing the CSPT was the lack of detailed ‘state of practice’ information in relation to the technical operation of the NI software industry and therefore one of the centre’s early priorities was to obtain an understanding of current local practice. The vehicle chosen to obtain this information was a questionnaire, administered through face-to-face interviews. Key personnel in fifty-nine software development organizations were surveyed in this way, however three of these companies provided consultancy services and could not be classified as software development organizations. Therefore, this paper presents our preliminary findings (based on the information obtained from the fifty-six software development organizations) and what we regard as an accurate and current account of the state of practice in the Northern Ireland software industry. Invest Northern Ireland (INI) is an economic development agency. One of the objectives of INI is to support the economic development of the NI software industry. CSPT was established in September 2002 and is jointly funded by INI and the University of Ulster. Its goal is to be an internationally recognized centre of excellence for research and knowledge transfer in areas allied to the process of developing software. A significant part of the centre’s remit is concerned with empirical research in the area of software processes and with knowledge transfer objectives in relation to software process improvement (SPI). In order that the CSPT can play an active role in helping software development organizations to improve their software development processes, two immediate priorities were set. Staff at CSPT needed to obtain formal qualifications in software process improvement models and methods (particularly CMMI[2], and ISO 15504, formerly SPICE[4]). This objective will permit and facilitate meaningful engagement in SPI activities with the local industry. The second priority was to understand the current state of the NI software industry.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Software Process Improvement; Survey; Comparison with other regions; Northern Ireland; Centre for Software Process Technologies
Subjects: Computer Science
Research Centres: Regulated Software Research Centre
Depositing User: Sonya Grimley
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2012 16:02
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2014 16:10

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