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Students' Perceptions of Software Risks

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Software Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Division

Page Count

17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28871

Download Count

104

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Paper Authors

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Venkata Rama Chaitra Thota University of Cincinnati

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I am a Master of Science student in the Computer Science Department at University of Cincinnati. My area of interest is "Software Engineering"

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Nan Niu University of Cincinnati

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Nan Niu is an assistant professor of EECS at the University of Cincinnati. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2009 from the University of Toronto, where he specialized in requirements engineering for software product lines. His current research interests include information seeking in software engineering, requirements engineering, human-centered computing, and software engineering education. He is a recipient of the U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the best research paper award at the IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE 2016). He is a member of ASEE and a senior member of IEEE.

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Wentao Wang University of Cincinnati

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Wentao Wang is a Ph.D. student at the University of Cincinnati, United States. His research interests include software engineering and requirements engineering. Wentao received a Master degree in software engineering from the Beijing Institute of Technology in 2010.

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Carla C. Purdy University of Cincinnati

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Carla Purdy is an associate professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems, College of Engineering and Applied Science, at the University of Cincinnati and an affiliate faculty member in UC's Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois in 1975 and her PhD. in Computer Science from Texas A&M University in 1986. She is the head of UC's B.S. in Computer Engineering Program and the coordinator of the Preparing Future Faculty in Engineering Program. Her research interests include embedded systems and VLSI, intelligent embedded systems, software and systems engineering, computational biology and synthetic biology, agent based modeling and simulation, mentoring, and diversity in science and engineering.

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Abstract

Risk—the possibility of an unsatisfactory outcome—is an essential vehicle for a software development project to progress. Iterative and incremental process models like spiral advocate the continuous identification of the items likely to compromise the project’s success and the early resolution of those top-ranked risk items. Although the concepts and principles, such as risk exposure and project top-10 risk-item monitoring, are commonly taught in undergraduate software engineering courses, little is known about how students, especially those working in agile software teams, perceive, prioritize, and try to mitigate their risks over multiple development cycles. In this paper, we report the data collected and analyzed in two semesters of a junior-level software engineering course where undergraduate students were working in agile teams to deliver 4 major working increments per semester (62 students developed Eclipse plug-ins in one semester and 103 students developed Android apps in the other). In both semesters, we found that not only were our students’ perceived top-ranked risks remarkably different from what were previously published (including the industry-surveyed checklists in the 1990s and 2000s, as well as the ones collected from a graduate-level course), but the risk management strategies adopted by our students were inherently collaborative. We leveraged this collaborative nature to design and execute the instructor interventions. The results comparing the top risks between the two semesters show the effectiveness of the instructor interventions and suggest ways to further improve risk management in students’ agile software development teams.

Thota, V. R. C., & Niu, N., & Wang, W., & Purdy, C. C. (2017, June), Students' Perceptions of Software Risks Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28871

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