Empirical Software Engineering Group (ESE)

The Empirical Software Engineering working group empowers software development teams to make sound data-driven decisions by deploying novel analytic tools and methods based on ESE’s empirical research on products, process, people, and customers.

Our current interests are in the areas of:

  • Software Reliability: Predicting Failures/Failure-proneness, Test Prioritization, Failure Analysis.
  • Software Process: Organizational Impact on Quality, Agile Software Development, Global Software Development, Effort Estimation
  • Empirical Studies: Unit Testing, Inspections, Assertions, Test Driven Development
  • Games Research: Impact of Social Play, Retention of Players, Usage of Game Features

For an overview of our research activities, we recommend the showcase paper "Empirical Software Engineering at Microsoft Research".

Publications

Kivanc Muslu, Christian Bird, Nachiappan Nagappan, and Jacek Czerwonka, Transition from Centralized to Distributed VCS: A Microsoft Case Study on Reasons, Barriers, and Outcomes, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Engineering, ACM, June 2014

Andrew Begel and Thomas Zimmermann, Analyze This! 145 Questions for Data Scientists in Software Engineering, in Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2014), ACM, June 2014

Emerson Murphy-Hill, Thomas Zimmermann, and Nachiappan Nagappan, Cowboys, Ankle Sprains, and Keepers of Quality: How Is Video Game Development Different from Software Development?, in Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2014), ACM, June 2014

Christian Bird, Venkatesh-Prasad Ranganath, Thomas Zimmermann, Nachiappan Nagappan, and Andreas Zeller, Extrinsic Influence Factors in Software Reliability: A Study of 200,000 Windows Machines, in Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2014), ACM, June 2014

Shaun Phillips, Thomas Zimmermann, and Christian Bird, Understanding and Improving Software Build Teams, in Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2014), ACM, June 2014

Thomas Debeauvais, Thomas Zimmermann, Nachiappan Nagappan, Kevin Carter, Ryan Cooper, Dan Greenawalt, and Tyson Solberg, Off With Their Assists: An Empirical Study of Driving Skill in Forza Motorsports 4, in Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2014), April 2014

Emerson Murphy-Hill, Thomas Zimmermann, and Nachiappan Nagappan, Motion Sickness Susceptibility in Software Developers, no. MSR-TR-2014-24, 4 March 2014

Brendan Murphy, JAcek Czerwonka, and Laurie Williams, Branching Taxonomy, no. MSR-TR-2014-23, 26 February 2014

Kim Herzig, Sascha Just, Andreas Rau, and Andreas Zeller, Predicting Defects Using Change Genealogies, in Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE 24nd International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, IEEE, November 2013

Andrew Begel and Thomas Zimmermann, Analyze This! 145 Questions for Data Scientists in Software Engineering, no. MSR-TR-2013-111, 28 October 2013

Brendan Murphy, Christian Bird, Thomas Zimmermann, Laurie Williams, Nachiappan Nagappan, and Andrew Begel, Have Agile Techniques been the Silver Bullet for Software Development at Microsoft?, ACM ESEM , 11 October 2013

Andrew Begel and Thomas Zimmermann, Appendix to Analyze This! 145 Questions for Data Scientists in Software Engineering, no. MSR-TR-2013-84, 14 September 2013

Richard Harper, Christian Bird, Thomas Zimmermann, and Brendan Murphy, Dwelling in Software: Aspects of the felt-life of engineers in large software projects, in Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW '13), Springer, September 2013

Peter C. Rigby and Christian Bird, Convergent Software Peer Review Practices, in Proceedings of the the joint meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on The Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), ACM, August 2013

Robert Musson, Jacqueline Richards, Danyel Fisher, Christian Bird, Brian Bussone, and Sandipan Ganguly, Leveraging the Crowd: How 48,000 Users Helped Improve Lync Performance, in IEEE Software, IEEE, August 2013

Internships

We are always looking for exceptional PhD candidates to join us as interns, any time of the year, though summer is the typical time interns visit. We have the possibility of students spending an internship either in Cambridge, UK or Redmond, USA. To apply for an internship in the ESE group, please send an email with your CV to ese-internships@microsoft.com.

Visitors

Professors

Emerson Murphy-Hill (2012, 2013)
Miryung Kim (2011)
Tim Menzies (2011, 2012)
Abram Hindle (2011)
Sung Kim (2010)
Harald Gall (2008, 2009)
Laurie Williams (2009)
Andreas Zeller (2005, 2009)
Victor R. Basili (2007)
Neeraj Suri (2007)

Post-docs

Martin Pinzger (2007)

Interns

Oscar Edwin Alvarez Callau (2013)
Gifford Cheung (2013)
Thomas Debeauvais (2013)
Baishakhi Ray (2013)
Alberto Bacchelli (2012, 2013)
Kıvanç Muşlu (2011, 2013)
Jeff Huang (2012)
Ekrem Kocagüneli (2012)
Shaun Phillips (2012)
Juliana Saraiva (2012)
Alexander Tarvo (2012)
Sauvik Das (2011)
Ashish Gupta (2011)
Juan Francisco Rodríguez (2011)
Francisco Servant (2011)
Emad Shihab (2011)
Ray Buse (2010)
Ken Hullett (2010)
Mei Nagappan (2010)
Kalaikumaran Ramamurthy (2010)
Christian Bird (2008, 2009)
Philip Guo (2009)
Ayse Tosun (2009)
Andreas Johansson (2007)
Lucas Layman (2007)
Thomas Zimmermann (2006)