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The Essence Theory of Software Engineering - Large-Scale Classroom Experiences from 450+ Software Engineering BSc Students

by   Kai-Kristian Kemell, et al.

Software Engineering as an industry is highly diverse in terms of development methods and practices. Practitioners employ a myriad of methods and tend to further tailor them by e.g. omitting some practices or rules. This diversity in development methods poses a challenge for software engineering education, creating a gap between education and industry. General theories such as the Essence Theory of Software Engineering can help bridge this gap by presenting software engineering students with higher-level frameworks upon which to build an understanding of software engineering methods and practical project work. In this paper, we study Essence in an educational setting to evaluate its usefulness for software engineering students while also investigating barriers to its adoption in this context. To this end, we observe 102 student teams utilize Essence in practical software engineering projects during a semester long, project-based course.


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