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November/December 2009 (vol. 26 no. 6)
pp. 56-59
David Lorge Parnas, Middle Road Software
Bill Curtis, Cast Software
Is software engineering suffering from a lack of sound empirical research? "In Empirical Research in Software Engineering: A Critical View," David Lorge Parnas (Middle Road Software) debates this issue with Bill Curtis (Cast Software) who writes "Are Rigorous Experiments Realistic for Software Engineering?"

1. B. Curtis, "Measurement and Experimentation in Software Engineering," Proc. IEEE, vol. 68, no. 9,IEEE Press, 1980, pp. 1144–1157.
2. B. Curtis et al., "Experimental Evaluation of Software Specification Formats," J. Systems and Software, vol. 9, no. 2, 1989, pp. 167–207.
3. T. Love and B. Curtis, "Applying Multifactor Experimental Designs to the Study of Programming," Proc. Computer Science and Statistics: 12th Symp. Interface, Univ. Waterloo, 1979, pp. 273–278.
4. B.A. Sheil, "The Psychological Study of Programming," ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 13, no. 1, 1981, pp. 101–120.
5. R. Guindon and B. Curtis, "Control of Cognitive Processes during Design: What Tools Are Needed?" Proc. Human Factors in Computing Systems Conf. (CHI 88), ACM Press, 1988, pp. 263–268.
6. B. Curtis, H. Krasner, and N. Iscoe, "A Field Study of the Software Design Process for Large Systems," Comm. ACM, vol. 31, no. 11, 1988, pp. 1268–1287.

Index Terms:
empirical research, software engineering, analysis, independent variables, controlled experiments, exploratory observational studies
David Lorge Parnas, Bill Curtis, "Point/Counterpoint," IEEE Software, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 56-59, Nov.-Dec. 2009, doi:10.1109/MS.2009.184
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