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Thomas Seewaldt, "Prototyping vs. Specifying: Evaluation of Data of a Software Engineering Class Project" (pdf)

In this paper the evaluation of data gathered during a software engineering course project in Winter 1982 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) will be presented.

During this project, 7 groups consisting of 2 or 3 people developed a small software product. 4 groups wrote requirements and design documents before coding. 3 groups built a prototype. Both the documents and the prototype were reviewed by the lecturers, and an acceptance test took place at the end of the quarter.

The data collected during this project were evaluated in Spring 1982 in an individual study project supervised by Barry W. Boehm and Terry Gray. The results of this study are assembled in this paper.

The source data, its analysis results, and the assumptions made when collecting and analysing the data are described in chapter 2 to 5 in order to give a solid basis for final conclusions. Interpretation results and conclusions are gathered in chapter 6. Finally, chapter 7 compares the project results with the results of a similar project, which was conducted at the University of Southern California in fall 1978.

Added June 6th, 2008


Barry Boehm, Terence E. Gray, Thomas Seewaldt, "Prototyping vs. Specifying: A Multi-Project Experiment," Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Software Engineering, Orlando, Florida, 1984, pp. 473-484 (pdf)

In this experiment, seven software teams developed versions of the same small-size (2000.4000 source instruction) application software product. Four teams used the Specifying approach. Three teams used the Prototyping approach.

The main results of the experiment were:
Prototyping yielded products with roughly equivalent performance, but with about 40% less code and 45% less effort.
The prototyped products rated somewhat lower on functionality and robustness, but higher on ease of use and ease of learning.
Specifying produced more coherent designs and software that was easier to integrate.

The paper presents the experimental data supporting these and a number of additional conclusions.

Added June 6th, 2008

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