# present-company

Daniel Buckmaster

12/23/2023, 11:11 AM
I was exploring a domain outside programming today and thought "gee, I wonder if somebody has written a detailed end-to-end case study about this?' Then, I wondered, "gee, has anybody written a detailed end-to-end case study about a software project?" I always think of software as a very open and sharing community, where we talk about our work and learn from each other without too much secrecy. But I struggled to think of examples. Of course, we seem to be constantly publishing tiny, focused case studies as blog posts. And this is incredible and valuable. But my curiosity is now piqued about this other thing. AOSA comes to mind, but what comes to others' minds?


12/23/2023, 2:57 PM
Of the code and its development? Most of the HCI papers I’ve read were in-depth UX case studies, but I’m less connected to case studies in software engineering.

Daniel Buckmaster

12/23/2023, 8:47 PM
Yep that's what I meant!

Cameron Yick

12/24/2023, 6:56 PM
What writing sections do you have in mind when think of an ideal case study paper? I think software dev projects leave many artifacts in the process of building them (eg RFCs, ADRs, pull requests), but it’s rarer (at least after the fact) to get the time to compile those into a retrospective narrative, especially in a commercial setting.

Beni Cherniavsky-Paskin

12/25/2023, 8:44 AM
Beautiful Code is slightly less formal than _AOSA_: people (sometimes authors sometimes not) praising some aspect/piece of a project (IIRC all open source?) that they subjectively feel worth praising. • E.g. one chapter about encrypted messaging memorably said what's beautiful to him is the safety it offered to people at risk. I enjoyed it. Making Software: What Really Works, and Why We Believe It is more formal than AOSA, full of attempts to do empirical studies of software engineering. (some open some industrial) Some chapters doing case studies of whole projects, some focusing on particular aspects e.g. how people comuunicated on the job, or analyzing bug tracker data... I feel its a good intro into approaching SE empirically, but in many places the data is just too weak to learn much from. (Which is a valuable meta thing to learn, i suppose) I bought it following Greg Wilson talking convincingly on a podcast; but felt too dry for me, perhaps more for managers then devs, I read than half. Performance of Open Source Applications is on my to-read list. All are anthologies - each chapter by other authors and easy to read at any order.

Florian Schulz

02/02/2024, 4:04 PM
Came here after finding out about “The Architecture of Open Source Applications” and thinking it should be shared here.

Daniel Buckmaster

02/03/2024, 12:33 AM
Same link is in my OP 😉 but it's always worth sharing again!