Work principles of the SE research group

Describes our common understanding of how we want to work.

These rules are set by LutzPrechelt. You may comment them, but not change them.


  • Quality: We work thoroughly and with thought in order to arrive at high-quality results. We do not generally value speed or volume above quality.
  • Openness: We respect other people and strive to provide useful information. Therefore, we openly and respectfully say
    • what we are doing and why,
    • how we are doing it and why,
    • what we like about what others are doing and why we like it,
    • what we view critically about what others are doing and why we do so.
  • Idealism: We persistently seek to pursue "the right thing", even if our environment (initially) does not understand or support it.
  • Sincerity: We openly admit what we do not know, what has gone wrong, or what is not as good as we would like it to be.


  • When teaching, it is our task to select relevant and useful material and to present it in an interesting and understandable manner.
  • It is the students' task to do the learning.
  • We try to motivate our students for learning
    • by making it clear how and why the material is relevant and interesting,
    • by being motivated ourselves (about the material and about teaching),
    • by making the whole process as much fun as possible,
    • by setting high standards.
  • We avoid forcing the students to learn (or pretend to learn).
  • We do not exaggerate our demands. We start from high standards but then use benevolent judgement for when the students have done a good-enough job.

For further information see RulesHome#Teaching


  • Credibility: We only pursue research whose results can be expected to have at least reasonable credibility. Credibility arises from validity, understandability, and practical plausibility.
  • Relevance: We do research that aims at practical applicability in industrially relevant settings.
  • Quantification?: Quantitative results are great where they can be achieved without violating the principles of credibility and relevance. Where they cannot and where no thorough understanding of the underlying phenomena is yet available (that is: almost always), we are happy with purely qualitative research.
  • Impartiality: We are not in the business of selling come-what-may particular techniques or approaches; we will always openly discuss strengths and weaknesses side-by-side.


Topic revision: r4 - 20 Aug 2013, LutzPrechelt
  • Printable version of this topic (p) Printable version of this topic (p)