Human factors related challenges in software engineering - An industrial perspective
Paper in proceeding, 2015
© 2015 IEEE. It is increasingly recognised that successful Software Engineering not only depends on technical or process issues, but requires attention to human factors. Researchers include such aspects which has led to both new theories and refined methods. However, it is not clear if professionals in the software industry agree that human factors are critical and what the related challenges and possibilities are. The purpose of the present study is to address this discrepancy. Using a qualitative research method, we elicited information about how and why human factors affect Software Engineering projects, which challenges are of special interest and the context in which they arise. Thematic analysis of data from interviews with nine senior software professionals in multiple Swedish software companies of differing size identified four main challenging areas. As supported by existing research, customer relations and communications were highlighted as important, but so too is the need for more holistic and multi-dimensional solutions and the importance of human factors in software organisational change. In addition, quantitative results indicate that the professionals see the organisational and group aspects as more important than the individual aspect. Our results can help to focus future research on matters that software practitioners consider important.