Doctoral defence on Continuous Experimentation in Software Engineering

Sezin Yaman from ESE research group will have a public examination of her Phd thesis titled: “Initiating the Transition towards Continuous Experimentation : Empirical Studies with Software Development Teams and Practitioners”. The opponent will be Professor Brian Fitzgerald, University of Limerick. The public event will take place in Room 302, Athena Building, University of Helsinki, on the 25th of October, 2019 at 12 o’clock noon.


Agile Now in Finland

Agile software development is nowadays perceived to be mainstream practice in industrial companies and software development organizations. However, since the publication of the Agile Manifesto in 2001 a lot of progressive evolution and developments have taken place both in industrial practice and academic agile research. One of the significant current drivers is the ongoing digitalization which has affected most industry sectors even radically.

Therefore, we have been interested in investigating the actual current state of agile software development in industrial organizations. Moreover, we want to understand Agile in practice more broadly and deeply considering even enterprise-level agility. We are interested in different industrial sectors beyond ICT since agile methods are possibly increasingly applied also in non-ICT companies when they become more software-intensive.

For those research interests we have been collaborating with Nitor (see here) in conducting an industrial survey in Finland in late 2018. The first results have just been presented at XP 2019 7th International Workshop on Large-Scale Agile Development (LargeScaleAgile).


Software Futures in Future Energy Systems

Energy systems are in global transition. They are becoming “smarter” by incorporating more and more software and digital data. This is in particular the case with electricity power systems which are currently developed to so-called Smart Grids. In essence they are power systems coupled with ICT systems.

The nature of the future electricity Smart Grid system is fundamentally different from the traditional power systems. Traditional bulk power generation is shifting towards distributed energy resources (e.g., wind turbines). Furthermore, the power flows can now be two-way so that even individual citizens can produce and sell electricity based on for example their private solar panels. In Finland, households are now equipped with smart metering devices making it possible to manage such power flows with information flows.

Such developments bring up many new needs of software systems engineering for current and future energy system houses to be able to design, build and operate the increasingly complex systems-of-systems comprising hardware, software and human elements (cyber-physical systems, CPS). Moreover, the systems must run 24/7/365 being parts of critical national infrastructure under regulations.

We have recently addressed this empirical software research field in a presentation in the Futures Conference 2018: ENERGIZING FUTURES – Sustainable Development and Energy in Transition with the title

Future smart energy software houses


For further information, see:


Safe and Secure Executions at the Network Edge: A Framework for Coordinating Cloud, Fog, and Edge.

Take a look at our new paper, published at a recent issue of IEEE Software (Issue No. 01 – January/February; 2018 vol. 35), on how to coordinate cloud, fog, and edge computing. The paper was authored together with our colleagues at Electronics and Communications Engineering & Pervasive Computing, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland. The paper was It was a pleasure to work with our colleagues from Tampere, as always 🙂

The core message of the paper is that as we approach novel techniques such as 5G, peer-to-peer radio technologies, and multi-access communication channels, we need new technologies that help us program the devices and their interactions in a simpler fashion. While we can work under the terms of different ‘islands’ of technology chosen for a particular application under normal condition, the ability to reach over the boundaries what was originally foreseen is an essential character at corner cases, in particular those that are of critical importance and whose failure or hijacking could lead to disasters.

Considered application scenarios of Cloud, Fog, and Edge computing for the AcOP model. H2H = human-to-human, M2M = machine-to-machine, PPDR = public protection and disaster relief, QoE = quality of experience, V2I = vehicle-to-infrastructure, and V2V = vehicle-to-vehicle.

Author’s post-print version (pdf), which in is content equal to the fully formatted, published version available from IEEE


Continuous and collaborative technology transfer: Software engineering research with real-time industry impact

We have co-authored a top tier paper on research collaboration and experiences between academia and industry in Finland. The paper: Continuous and collaborative technology transfer: Software engineering research with real-time industry impact is available online (freely until March 31, 2018) from the web site of Information and Software Technology.


Traditional technology transfer models rely on the assumption that innovations are created in academia, after which they are transferred to industry using a sequential flow of activities. This model is outdated in contemporary software engineering research that is done in close collaboration between academia and industry and in large consortia rather than on a one-on-one basis. In the new setup, research can be viewed as continuous co-experimentation, where industry and academia closely collaborate and iteratively and jointly discover problems and develop, test, and improve solutions.

Research questions:

  • How can high-quality, ambitious software engineering research in a collaborative setup be conducted quickly and on a large scale?
  • How can real-time business feedback to continuously improve candidate solutions be gained?

The proposed model has been created, refined, and evaluated in two large, national Finnish software research programs. For this paper, we conducted thematic interviews with representatives of four companies who participated in these programs.


The fundamental change is in the mindset of the participants from technology push by academia to technology pull by companies, resulting in co-creation. Furthermore, continuous cooperation between participants enables solutions to evolve in rapid cycles and forms a scalable model of interaction between research institutes and companies.

The multifaceted nature of software engineering research calls for numerous approaches. In particular, when working with human-related topics such as company culture and development methods, many discoveries result from seamless collaboration between companies and research institutes.


Regulated Software Meets DevOps

Our paper published in the top tier journal Information and Software Technology on DevOps and regulated software development.


  • Research on DevOps and regulated software development is scarce.
  • Standards for regulated development limit the use of DevOps practices.
  • DevOps tools could help with strict tracing requirements if further developed.
  • DevOps should automate documentation and template generation where applicable.
  • Standards should provide templates that the tools can implement.

Visual abstract:

Publication details Regulated Software Meets DevOps. The paper in pdf  is available online from the publisher’s web site.

Summer Interns in OpenReq project

We are looking for research assistants as summer workers in the research project OpenReq.

Task: Java backend programming as the main objective but can also include Jira plugin development. In addition, other tasks also relevant related to OpenReq project. The tasks will be agreed based on the knowledge and interests of the applicant. Possibility to experiment modern technologies, such as AI  and NLP, with practical problems. We will have people available at office during the summer to support and guide the work.

Skills needed: Basic knowledge of Java, and data structures and algorithms. Knowledge of and interest in software and requirements engineering is a benefit.

Contact: Mikko Raatikainen or Prof. Tomi Männistö,

Context: OpenReq ( is an EU Horizon 2020 framework project that aims to provide better requirements engineering to your organization. We are driving for improvements in the areas of requirements identification, classification and decision making support. The improvements we are looking for can be achieved through improved processes, methods and tools. OpenReq is also looking at hot topics like Artificial Intelligence methods to help with managing requirements and requirement extraction from natural language like social media posts.

In Finnish see also the UH news item: Tulossa: Älykäs ja yhteisöllinen ohjelmistojen vaatimusmäärittely.

The project involves four academic partners: HITEC University of Hamburg (GER), Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (ESP), Technical University of Graz (AUT), and University of Helsinki. Other five industrial partners participate in OPENREQ: The Qt Company (FIN), SIEMENS (AUT), ENG Engineering(ITA), vogella (GER), and Wind Tre S.p.a. (ITA).

The thesis is carried out in the Empirical Software Engineering Research Group