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General Information
    • ISSN: 2301-3559
    • Frequency: Quarterly
    • DOI: 10.18178/LNSE
    • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Jemal Antidze
    • Executive Editor: Ms. Nina Lee
    • Abstracting/ Indexing: EI (INSPEC, IET), Electronic Journals Library,  Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, International Computer Science Digital Library (ICSDL), ProQuest and Google Scholar.
    • E-mail: lnse@ejournal.net
Prof. Jemal Antidze
I. Vekua Scientific Institute of Applied Mathematics
Tbilisi State University, Georgia
I'm happy to take on the position of editor in chief of LNSE. We encourage authors to submit papers concerning any branch of Software Engineering.

LNSE 2013 Vol.1(1): 7-11 ISSN:2301-3559
DOI: 10.7763/LNSE.2013.V1.2

Myths and Over-Simplifications in Software Engineering

Magne Jørgensen

Abstract—The software engineering discipline contains numerous myths and over-simplifications. Some of them may be harmless, but others may hamper evidence-based practices and contribute to a fashion- and myth-based software engineering discipline. In this article we give examples of software engineering myths and over-simplifications and discuss how they are created and spread. One essential mechanism of the creation and spread of myths and over-simplifications are, we argue, people’s tendency towards searching for confirming and neglecting disconfirming evidence. We report from a study examining this tendency. The study demonstrated that the developers who believed in a positive effect of agile methods tended to interpret randomly generated (neutral) project data as evidence confirming the benefit of agile methods. For the purpose of supporting evidence-based practice and avoiding unwanted influence from myths and over-simplifications, we provide a checklist to be used to evaluate the validity of software engineering claims.

Index Terms—Confirmation bias, evidence-based software engineering, myths, over-simplifications.

Magne Jørgensen is with the Simula Research Laboratory, Oslo, Norway. (e-mail: magnej@simula.no).


Cite: Magne Jørgensen, "Myths and Over-Simplifications in Software Engineering," Lecture Notes on Software Engineering vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 7-11, 2013.

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