AuthorsM. T. Sletholt, J. E. Hannay, D. Pfahl, H. C. Benestad and H. P. Langtangen
EditorsJ. Carver
TitleA Literature Review of Agile Practices and Their Effects in Scientific Software Development
AfilliationScientific Computing, Software Engineering, Software Engineering, Scientific Computing
Publication TypeProceedings, refereed
Year of Publication2011
Conference NameProceedings of SE-CSE11

The nature of scientific research and the development of scientific software have similarities with processes that follow the agile manifesto: responsiveness to change and collaboration are of the utmost importance. But how well do current scientific software development processes match the practices found in agile development methods, and what are the effects of using agile practices in such processes? In order to investigate this, we conduct a literature review, focusing on evaluating the agility present in a selection of scientific software projects. Both projects with intentionally agile practices and projects with a certain degree of agile elements are taken into consideration. In the agility assessment, we define and utilize an agile mapping chart. The elements of the mapping chart are based on Scrum and XP, thus covering two of the most prominent agile reference models. We compared the findings of the literature review to results of a previously conducted survey. The comparison indicates that scientific software development projects adopting agile practices perceive their testing to be better than average. No difference to average projects was perceived regarding requirements-related activities. Future work includes an in-depth case study to further investigate the existence and impact of agility in three large scientific software projects, ultimately aiming at a better understanding of the particularities involved in developing scientific software.

Citation KeySimula.simula.386