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

Emerson Murphy-Hill, Thomas Zimmermann, Christian Bird, and Nachiappan Nagappan, The Design Space of Bug Fixes and How Developers Navigate It, in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, December 2015

Abram Hindle, Christian Bird, Thomas Zimmermann, and Nachiappan Nagappan, Do Topics Make Sense to Managers and Developers?, in Empirical Software Engineering, Springer, December 2015

Kim Herzig, Using Pre-Release Test Failures to Build Early Post-Release Defect Prediction Models, in Proceedings of the 25th International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, November 2014

André N. Meyer, Thomas Fritz, Gail C. Murphy, and Thomas Zimmermann, Software Developers’ Perceptions of Productivity, in FSE '14: Proceedings of the 22nd ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, ACM – Association for Computing Machinery, November 2014

Miltiadis Allamanis, Earl T. Barr, Christian Bird, and Charles Sutton, Learning Natural Coding Conventions, in Proceedings of the ACM SigSoft Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering, ACM – Association for Computing Machinery, November 2014

Gifford Cheung, Thomas Zimmermann, and Nachiappan Nagappan, The First Hour Experience: How the Initial Play can Engage (or Lose) New Players, in CHI PLAY '14: Proceedings of the First ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, ACM – Association for Computing Machinery, October 2014

David Lo, Nachiappan Nagappan, and Thomas Zimmermann, Appendix to The Health of Software Engineering Research, no. MSR-TR-2014-119, 5 September 2014

Kim Herzig and Nachiappan Nagappan, The Impact of Test Ownership and Team Structure on the Reliability and Effectiveness of Quality Test Runs, in Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ACM, September 2014

Ashish Gupta, Thomas Zimmermann, Christian Bird, Nachiappan Nagappan, Thirumalesh Bhat, and Syed Emran, Mining Energy Traces to Aid in Software Development: An Empirical Case Study, in ESEM '14: Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurements, ACM – Association for Computing Machinery, September 2014

Christian Bird, Thomas Zimmermann, and Edward K. Smith, Appendix to Do It Yourself! Homegrown Tools in a Large Software Company, no. MSR-TR-2014-118, September 2014

Miryung Kim, Thomas Zimmermann, and Nachiappan Nagappan, An Empirical Study of Refactoring Challenges and Benefits at Microsoft, in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 40, no. 7, IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, July 2014

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

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

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

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

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

David Lo (2014)
Miryung Kim (2011, 2014)
Emerson Murphy-Hill (2012, 2013)
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

Amiangshu Bosu (2014)
Joao Brunet Monteiro (2014)
Erik Harpstead (2014)
Ayushi Rastogi (2014)
Ted Smith (2014)
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)