Essential books for working with software metrics (my library)

I get a lot of questions about the essential readings for the area of metrics. Since the area has been active since the 1950s, the number of books is large and the number of articles is naturally even larger. Here is the list of the books that I’ve compiled for my students and colleagues from industry:

  1. Norman Fenton and James Bieman: Software Metrics. This is a classical position in the area of software metrics. It’s been around since 1990s and is perceived as providing the foundations of software metrics. The main audience of this book comprises software engineering students and researchers. If you want to start with the more theoretical aspects and closer to software product metrics, this is the perfect position for you. 
  2. Alain Abran: Software Metrology and software metrics. This is the newest position in the discipline of software engineering. It provides a very good foundation in metrology and provides some examples of modern software measures. The major focus on the book is on the COSMIC FP measure.  If you want to get good foundations in metrology and then move over towards estimations and measurement reference etalons, then this is the perfect position for you. 
  3. Cheryl Jones and Beth Layman: Practical software measurement. This is a very good book for practitioners who want to apply ISO/IEC 15939 standard. The book provides a solid description of the standard which describes the measurement process. It’s a great position for everyone who wants to look into ISO/IEC 15939 and introduce it into the organization. 
  4. Christof Ebert and Reiner Dumke: Software Measurement. This book is a classical position which provides solid foundations on the measurement theory and estimation. The book is rather long and covers multiple aspects, but it seems that the audience is mostly students. 
  5. Christof Ebert et al. Best practices in software measurement. This book presents a number of best practices of measurement. Very good position for practitioners, but needs to be complemented with #4. 

For everyone who wants to get into the measurement area, these positions are a good start. There is of course a lot of other books that are more dedicated for specific areas, and I will get back to these soon.

Best practices in industry-academia collaboration (article review)

Link to article:

Being an empirical researcher with tight relation to industry ( this kind of study is of outmost importance. I believe that in the area of software engineering the ability to discuss, develop and evaluate methods, tools and techniques needs to be done in collaboration with industry. As the authors of this paper point out, the collaborative environments are still scarce, but they appear.

I recommend to read the paper and reflect a bit on the way in which we conduct the studies and the way in which we engage in the collaboration. Close planning, personal chemistry and academic excellence combined with industrial impact should be our guiding principles!

Results (as written in the abstract by the authors): “Through thematic analysis we identified 10 challenge themes and 17 best practice themes. A key outcome was the inventory of best practices, the most common ones recommended in different contexts were to hold regular workshops and seminars with industry, assure continuous learning from industry and academic sides, ensure management engagement, the need for a champion, basing research on real-world problems, showing explicit benefits to the industry partner, be agile during the collaboration, and the co-location of the researcher on the industry side.”

Creativity, inc in academia…

Link to the book: and,_Inc.

Naturally a lot has been written about the best academic environment and academic excellence, and while reading this book about Pixar animation studios, I kept reflecting on our profession and environments. In the book, the author present his experiences with the start-up of the studios and its later successes.

What struck me the most was the way in which the studios nurtures creativity. They acknowledge directly that creativity is not something that strikes one as a lightning from a blue sky, but a result of a a long process. It requires a number of diverse roles to come together – different roles, but all with equal voice – everyone has to have the right to provide an opinion and discuss it. They should be able to openly and honestly question and discuss other’s opinions.

I see this to be aligned with the academic spirit, and from my observations the best academic environments are the ones where teamwork and team spirit are the most important ones.

I sincerely recommend this book as an inspiration in the creating process of research!

Creativity inc.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

The figure is a link to:,_Inc.