How to Pose a Software Engineering Research Question?

Motivation:

You begin to do software engineering research.
You want to have a research question.
You have several ideas but you wonder whether they are good enough for conducting a research.

Suggestions:

1. Your question should contain well-defined terms.
Are you talking about something that everyone mostly agree about its definition and core characteristics.
For example, are you talking about Microservices, Event Sourcing, Relational Database, NoSQL, Unit Tests, Go Language, Speech Recognition, Speech Synthesis?

2. Your question should have a purpose and specific audience.
Why should the audience be interested in your question?
For example, are they going to upgrade a an event sourcing system? Are they going to apply test automation in our project?
Do they have specific security issues with their system?
Have they gotten specific performance issues with their system?
Are they going to build a new identity management platform for their legacy system?
Do they need to accelerate the development of a portal for their legacy system?
Are they going to integrate voice search into their existing system?

3. Your question should have verifiable answer.
What are the possible answers to your question? How can we compare these answers.
What is your concrete answer?
How can we replicate your answer?
How can we test your answer against the existing “standards“.

 

 

 

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